Lets Start ” Ben Stokes Book on Fire”
Fiery, assaultive, and a genuine match-winner. Ben Stokes epitomizes this description and has proved himself worth such critical appraise due to every one of his astonishing and breathtaking innings. 326 days before today marks the date of the dramatic final day in the 3rd Ashes Test at Headingley
One of the most historical and nerve-wracking contests between the two Ashes rivals. In addition, 368 days before today, slightly over a year, marks the date where the unprecedented super over occurred in the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup final.
What these two historical events have in common are……………… BEN STOKES! BEN STOKES! BEN STOKES! No other words can describe the impact that both these events have had and will have in the future of Cricket.
Ben Stokes’ book is predominantly based on the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup and the 2019 Ashes between Australia and England, especially the dramatic final day of the 3rd Test and the super over that had robbed New Zealand off yet another chance of lifting the trophy.
Stokes relives every match that England played leading up to the final of the World Cup, the final finding the most space in the book. Stokes also shares some sympathetic and understanding words for the umpires in the final after the umpires in the match were criticised all over social media because of their miscalculations which pundits believe had basically changed the course and result of the final.
The ace allrounder is also regarded as the X factor that spurred on England. In addition, with the leadership of Eoin Morgan and a set of players featuring different talents in their area of expertise; the combination and selection of these players would form the well-balanced and well-rounded team that they are. Furthermore, in his book.
The English Vice-Captain states that he often found himself in match-winning positions primarily because of the platform that his teammates established. He also gives credit to the IPL franchise, Rajasthan Royals for honing his big-match mentality.
Stokes shares his moments of nervousness with the English team before the crucial India game and the tense final, after he was told to bat again in the super over against New Zealand after scores were tied.
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The star-allrounder then takes the reader with him in the dressing room post the World Cup win. He also shares his respect and admiration for Kane Williamson, the New Zealand skipper, because of the way he handled the world cup loss due to a rather absurd boundary count-back rule.
Ben Stokes stated in the book how he was rather bewildered when he found out that Kane Williamson was chosen as the player of the tournament, ahead of Rohit Sharma, who scored a blistering five hundreds throughout the tournament and was the anchor of the Indian batting line-up.
Stokes reveals in his book how he swallowed all his ego and pride up, with his heart in his mouth, to request his vice-captaincy back after having it taken up because of his involvement in the 2018 Bristol nightclub brawl.
The Indian Team Cheating Controversy:
However, on the contrary, “On Fire: My Story of England’s Summer to Remember”, also sparked a few controversies because of some of the comments he stated here.
The English all-rounder’s comments regarding India’s batting approach during the crucial 2019 world cup match against India, created an online storm throughout social media.
For instance, former Pakistan bowler, Sikander Bakht had claimed that Stokes had written in his book that India had lost to England deliberately to remove Pakistan from the world cup.
In fear of Pakistan turning up as the ‘other Pakistan’ and repeating their Champions Trophy final performance. However, Stokes categorically denied all allegations when a Twitter user asked to find Stokes’ comments stating that India had deliberately lost against England. Stokes replied to the post by writing “You won’t find it cause I have never said it… it’s called ‘twisting of words’ or ‘clickbait’.
In addition, Bakht had tweeted an older clip of him claiming India had deliberately lost against England while reasserting that his prediction was indeed vindicated by Stokes’ comments in his book.
This is the game between England and India at Birmingham, where India was comprehensibly beaten by 31 runs after failing to chase England’s mammoth 337 for 7 in a crucial game at last year’s world cup.
Stokes was baffled by India’s run chasing strategy during their match near the end of the world cup. Stokes states that he found Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli’s approach while batting quite “mystifying” and saw “no intent” from MS Dhoni during the run chase. Stokes stated that Kohli’s complaints about the “59 metre” boundary on one side, “whingeing”
Below are the key quotes taken from the book that initially stirred up the controversy related to the Indian Cricket team.
“The way Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli played was mystifying. I know that we bowled brilliantly well during this period, but the way they went about their batting just seemed bizarre.”
“They allowed their team to get so far behind the game. They showed no desire to put any pressure back onto our team, content instead to just drift along, a tactic that was clearly playing into our hands,”
“Arguably, the way MS Dhoni played when he came in with 112 runs needed from 11 overs was even stranger. He appeared more intent on singles than sixes. Even with a dozen balls remaining, India could still have won.”
“There was little or no intent from him (Dhoni) or his partner Kedar Jadhav. To me, while victory is still possible you always go for broke.”
Tim Paine’s beef with Ben Stokes’s comments regarding David Warner:
Ben Stokes’ book has also sparked another controversy. Australian captain, Tim Paine accused England’s ace all-rounder, Ben Stokes, for taking a “cheap shot” at David Warner, claiming that Stokes used the controversial star batsman to spike the sales of his new book.
Stokes’ extraordinary unbeaten 135 at Headingley steered England from an unlikely win to a thrilling one-wicket win and a record run chase to tie the five-match series at 1-1. In his book, Stokes claimed that David Warner’s sledging motivated him during his match-winning innings in the third Ashes test last year.
Stokes added that “[Warner] just wouldn’t shut up for most of my time out there…… I could accept it from just about any other opponent. Truly. Not from him, though.”
In addition, Stokes described Warner as “the changed man he was adamant he’d become, the one that hardly said boo to a goose and even went as far as claiming he had been re-nicknamed ‘Humble’ by his Australia teammates, had disappeared”.
However, on the contrary, Paine disputed the characterizations and was adamant Warner did absolutely nothing wrong. When asked whether Stokes played a cheap shot, Pained replied: ‘Oh [yeah] absolutely”.
“I was obviously standing next to David the whole time [at first slip] and you are allowed to talk on the cricket field,” Paine told reporters in Brisbane ahead of a Test series against Pakistan.
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