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Ben Stokes gestures and reacts during the first One Day International, the England all-rounder's last, against South Africa at the Riverside ground in Durham on Tuesday. Image Credit: AFP

Ben Stokes announced his retirement from One Day Internationals as he believed he could not give his hundred per cent to the format anymore and the England shirt deserved nothing less. It is a testimony to the way he plays the sport, with such competitiveness and intensity.

Last year he had a taken a break from the high-profile Indian Premier League (IPL) so that he could focus on his mental health. He could have easily made more than $1.5 million had he opted to play for Rajasthan Royals or any other franchise, but for him more than the big bucks, what mattered was he gave his full commitment to his franchise, which forced him to make that decision.

Right impetus

This summer, he was made the new England Test captain and he immediately proved his appointment was the right impetus the team needed. Teaming with Brendon McCullum, the head coach, he won all the four Tests played so far by changing the old style England played in Tests and adapted an aggressive style, which was never seen before or witnessed in the history of Test.

England first defeated New Zealand at home 3-0, chasing 250-plus in the fourth innings and then beat the fancied India, chasing 377 to win the last Test and level the series. England, before this, had won just one Test in the last 17 games under Joe Root and now are on a roll with this new style under Stokes. True, all the wins have come at home, but the intent shown by team England under Stokes is to play fearless cricket and not worry about the results.

Hero of England

England had won their first ICC World Cup under Eoin Morgan’s captaincy, but it was Stokes who was the hero of the tournament for England, excelling with bat and ball and also as a gun fielder. He scored 473 runs in the 2019 World Cup, scoring three match-winning innings — against South Africa, India and most importantly against New Zealand in the final. Stokes single-handedly took the game in to the Super Over with a knock of 84 when England were down and almost out, but pulled them back with a superlative knock.

Ben Stokes has done everything, and can do more, on a cricketing field to win the game for his country, no wonder he is called the Superman of Team England.