The English all-rounder, Ben Stokes completely outplayed the Indian bowlers with a fiery knock of 99 off 52, as he kept on tonking the spinners while letting Jonny Bairstow keep doing his thing in the second ODI against India in Pune at the MCA Stadium. The all-rounder smashed 10 sixes and four fours in his blistering innings. Apart from Stokes, it was opener Jonny Bairstow’s 124 runs that saw England register a six-wicket win.
Chasing a mammoth target of 337, the visiting team chased down the total with 39 balls to spare as they leveled the three-match series 1-1. If the Indian batsmen stole the show in the afternoon, it was the turn of the English batters under lights to showcase some quality strokeplay.
Talking about his approach during a chat on Star Sports, Ben Stokes said, “I took the decision if the spinners come up, it was my match-up to take the risk and just let Jonny keep doing his thing. The amount of runs they (Roy and Bairstow) have scored is obviously amazing. But if you look at the way they have scored, it makes it even better. Their strike-rate is the best in the world in my opinion. Having those two at the top of the order to set the tone is fantastic.”
After losing the first ODI due to the attacking approach, Stokes said it is pleasing to see that team managed to continue their attacking approach.
Ben Stokes explained, “The most pleasing thing from us as a team is that we didn’t go away from our values as a team. We were bitterly disappointed in the first game with the way we played in the chase, but it was pretty clear that we were going out with the same intent as we always do. Over the years, we have set big totals, we have chased big totals. We don’t really fear too much to be honest. We always go out and try to play as positively as we can.”
Dawid Malan and debutant Liam Livingstone finished things off for England with an unbeaten 50-run partnership to take the side home. Livingstone scored 27* while Malan returned unbeaten on 16. The series decider will be played on Sunday.