Stokes – who was instrumental in England’s maiden ODI World Cup win in 2019 against New Zealand at the Lord’s – smashed a match-winning 52 in the tricky run chase as Jos Buttler-led side created history Down Under.
Having once again played a crucial role in England’s title triumph, Stokes is receiving praise from all quarters for his gritty knock. He walked into the middle under tremendous pressure but steadied the ship for England with his sheath anchor’s knock first and later took on the offensive.
The cricketing fraternity, as well as fans, lauded the champion all-rounder for showing his big match prowess. As England suffered a defeat at the hands of Ireland in the Super 12 stage, the naysayers started counting them off and Stokes admitted that the shock defeat against their neighbours did hurt, but the players moved on quickly from that little blip and started focussing on the road ahead.
“With that (defeat to Ireland) being so early in the competition we obviously had to address it, say what had to be said and then let it go,” Stokes said.
“In tournaments like these you can’t carry baggage with you, that was a little blip on the way, credit to Ireland for turning up and beating us, but the best teams learn from their mistakes and not let it affect them,” said Stokes.
England skipper Jos Buttler, who was appointed the limited-overs captain earlier this year, was all praise for his team which has set the benchmark in limited-overs cricket.
“To win the T20 World Cup now, immensely proud of everyone here. It has been a long journey and few changes but we are reaping the rewards of how we have played in the last few years.
“It’s been a fantastic tournament. We went to Pakistan before coming here, which was a valuable time for the group and this felt a long way after the Ireland match but the character we showed from thereon in must-win games is amazing.
“He (coach Matty Motts) has fitted in really well. We have got a few Australians in the coaching staff with us in this tournament and he has led the coaching staff really well, gives the players great freedom.”
(With PTI inputs)