English all-rounder Ben Stokes made a comeback in international cricket after five months. He played for England in the first ODI of the five-match bilateral ODI series against the hosts New Zealand at Hamilton, where he showed a good temperament.
England lost the first ODI by 3 wickets which was ended in a thrilling way. After scoring only 12 runs off 22 balls along with one boundary, Ben Stokes claimed two important wickets in his comeback international match.
England skipper Eoin Morgan was seemed very happy with Stokes return. Morgan felt that Stokes bowled really well in that match as he quoted after the match, “I’m really pleased. I thought he adapted to conditions perfectly well, using slower balls well.”
Morgan also revealed that the all-rounder is also feeling excited to make a comeback in the national squad. Morgan said, “He’s told everybody that. It’s an awesome feeling when you’ve been away and you’re back in a fun environment with lots of friends around.”
Recalling his own experiences, Morgan added, “I can vouch for that. I spend a lot of time away (from the team) while the tests are on. You come back and it puts a smile on your face.”
Since the last September, Stokes had not represented the England side for the next five months due to a charge of affray over a brawl outside a Bristol nightclub. He was arrested for that incident, while he has recently pleaded not guilty in the Bristol Magistrates’ Court.
Stokes received the green signal for the national team after his pleading. The first hearing date of his trial will take place at the crown court at Bristol on 12th March. However, the all-rounder is not required to attend that hearing. So, he does not need to return the UK quickly.
Coming to the first ODI, Morgan also said that Stokes wanted to bowl more but the situation didn’t need him. The English skipper said, “After the first spell, he said he could have bowled longer, but we didn’t really need him at that stage. We needed something to happen, and he’s the kind of player who can make something happen.”
On the other hand, England vice-captain and wicket-keeper Jos Buttler was also happy to see the comeback of Stokes. He said, “Ben bowled the quickest of the lot. He hit the gloves hard. We saw in the nets he was generating good pace. It is fantastic to have him back in all three facets of the game.”
Meanwhile, New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor also praised Stokes’ bowling effort. Taylor was awarded the Player of the Match after scoring a match-winning century (113) in that tight encounter. Taylor spoke about Stokes, “He bowled heavy. He bowled a lot of change-ups. He adapted well. Along with [Tom] Curran, he was quite hard to hit. I’m sure he’ll be better for the hit-out. There are definitely no cobwebs.”