England will be banking heavily on allrounder Ben Stokes to bring his ‘A’ game to the fore in the crunch Super 12 game against New Zealand here on Tuesday, and their assistant coach Paul Collingwood said as much, expressing confidence that a match-defining innings from the Test skipper was round the corner.
While Stokes has been in sublime form in the longest format of the game, his form has been iffy in the shortest format of the game, with the 31-year-old also taking retirement from ODIs. Stokes has so far scored two runs against Afghanistan and six in the shocking loss to Ireland in the ICC T20 World Cup here.
With his T20 performance not quite as stable throughout his career as his Test showing, Collingwood is still confident Stokes is the player for big occasions.
“I guess the one person that you want in your team when the pressure is on is Ben Stokes. We all know what he’s capable of, and not just match-winning innings, but match-winning innings under serious amounts of pressure,” opined Collingwood.
“I know well that if it comes down to the crunch that you want a man like Ben Stokes walking out. Not just what he gives with the bat, the options with the ball, and the skill level he brings into the field, as well. You’ve got to remember, he’s an allrounder, so it’s not always just the runs that he makes, but it’s everything else that he gives.
“But I’m pretty confident there’s an innings just around the corner, and now we’re coming into the crucial part of the World Cup, and it’s almost a knockout stage for us. It’s must-win games. You always see Ben come to the fore in those situations,” added Collingwood.