London, Sep 14 (SocialNews.XYZ) Former captain Nasser Hussain was in awe of Ben Stokes hitting a record-breaking 182 off 124 balls in England’s 181-run victory over New Zealand in the third ODI, saying the all-rounder is still one of the best batters the hosts’ have across all formats.
Stokes hit 15 fours and nine sixes in his amazing knock of 182, and also set the new record for the highest individual ODI score by any batter in England men's ODIs. Stokes also had a critical partnership of 199 off 165 deliveries with Dawid Malan (96) for the third wicket.
“Stokes is a phenomenal cricketer, he really is. People asked whether or not he should come back but it was a complete no-brainer for me. Just because he may not be able to bowl, he’s still one of the best batters we’ve produced in any format," said Hussain to Sky Sports Cricket after the match ended.
Stokes also hit his fastest ODI century ever, reaching his ton in just 76 balls, with the crowd at The Oval being enthralled by a display of attacking cricket. "This is what happens when you have a team full of senior leaders, they have a lot of cricketers that have been around previously and who, leading up to a World Cup, wouldn’t want to take a backward step."
“Stokes has not always batted at four and one advantage of coming in at 13-2 is that he had so much more time and judged it perfectly. He’s always shown strength, particularly on the leg-side. He was smashing it like he always does and I think New Zealand and other teams will have to learn from him,” added Hussain.
Stokes' stunning return to ODI cricket after initially retiring from the format last year also left legendary Sri Lanka cricketer Kumar Sangakkara impressed. "Stokes took the lead so others will have the courage to follow and trust his example. One of his key roles is to inspire and spread the word."
"He's done a fabulous job and England looked a bit off the pace at the start but then had someone from their top four to really set the tone. England reaffirmed their stance and belief of how they want to play."