Right now, there is no better all-rounder in Test Cricket than Ben Stokes, and the ICC Rankings prove that.
The 29-year-old has been in top form during England’s recent encounters against the touring West Indies. Earning widespread praise from his colleagues.
Although the West Indies had claimed victory in the first test, England bounced back to level the series 1-1 at Old Trafford. The tourists had no answer for an inspirational display by Stokes. The all-rounder scored 254 runs, claimed three vital wickets, and made an important catch.
The virtuoso qualities produced by Stokes were the highlight of an entertaining second test. This led to England captain Joe Root lavishing his teammate with praise “we are watching a player at the peak of his powers, at the peak of world cricket, delivering time and again,” Root enthused in comments published by The Statesman.
“We have to savour that and understand we are in the presence of greatness,” Root underlined. Conscious that whenever Stokes is available for selection and in top form, England can boast having one of the most exceptionally talented players amongst their ranks.
Consistency has been the key for Stokes, who has unleashed his wide array of cricketing talents against some of the best teams in the world. Over the last year alone, he was pivotal towards helping England win the 2019 Cricket World Cup, outstanding against Australia, and most recently, inspirational throughout the tour victory in South Africa.
Ben Stokes now tops ICC Rankings
This remarkable form hasn’t gone unnoticed. Stokes is now leading the official ICC Test All-Rounder Rankings, heading the charts with a rating of 497.
What’s more, Stokes has also moved up to third in the ICC Test Batting Rankings with a rating of 827. This is just behind India’s Virat Kohlia on 886 in second, while Steve Smith of Australia remains top on 911.
🚨 RANKINGS UPDATE 🚨— ICC (@ICC) July 21, 2020
Ben Stokes is the new No.1 all-rounder 🤩
He is the first England player since Flintoff to be at the top of the @MRFWorldwide ICC Men’s Test Player Rankings for all-rounders.
Full rankings: https://t.co/AIR0KN4yY5 pic.twitter.com/viRzJzuGiC
Widely regarded to be at the very peak of his game, Stokes has also gained further recognition amongst his peers and cricket journalists. In what could be a glittering year individually, Wisden also has Stokes rated as the best cricketer in the world right now, while he looks almost certain to win the ICC Player of the Year.
Insofar as long-term objectives are concerned, Stokes and England will be aiming to improve their overall test cricket performances.
Especially ahead of 2021-22 Ashes encounter with Australia. Due to host the next series, Australia are cricket betting favourites at 8/15 odds to retain the Ashes. Although visiting England at 11/4 odds will be no pushovers.
In the meantime, England will be hoping to round out 2020 as a year to remember for their test cricket side.
Fans of the team won’t have to wait long after the series of West Indies games. In August there’s a series of three test matches planned against Pakistan, who will undoubtedly prove to be challenging rivals.