England all rounder Ben Stokes has claimed that the experience of playing in the IPL has helped him in his batting and also play one of the best innings of his life against Australia. “I think that was my best innings in terms of chasing,” Stokes said. “I don’t think my record is too flash in terms of chasing for England in ODI cricket. It’s also nice on a personal level to be there at the end of a chase.
“The whole thing with the IPL is the exposure you get to big moments in games playing in front of a huge crowd all the time. You get exposed to those situations more.
“At Edgbaston we were 35 for 3 but you can just mentally look back to a time in the past and reflect on that and also take confidence in knowing that you have been in that situation before and done well.
“You play against the best players in the world, whether batsmen or bowlers. Knowing that you have done well coming into a tournament like this it gives you confidence that you can do well against some of the world’s best batsmen and bowlers.”
During the IPL Stokes also played with Australian skipper Steve Smith. Recalling the experience of sharing the dressing room with Smith, Stokes said,”He just gave a little tip out in India, something on my technique, something that he felt could help me with. Just that I was losing my backside a bit when I was hitting.”
“I am always trying to get better as a player, no matter how things are going. I’m always trying to expand my game and look into how I can hit more areas or bowl different balls or whatever it is. I’m always looking to learn and am never happy with how I am going. I think once you get comfortable with what you are offering it is dangerous territory to be in.”
On his explosive innings he said, “I didn’t put any pressure on myself,” Stokes said. “I knew I could catch up. Obviously having someone like Eoin Morgan at the other end, playing like he is does, takes the pressure off. He is always looking to be positive and I think we are boundary-hitters, so we know that if we have a few dot balls it is not going to faze us too much.
“We are always going to try to take the positive route regardless of the start that we get, play every good ball on its merit but at the same time we know we have got to be aggressive and on the front foot because that is what has made us such a dangerous team. Being 35 for 3 doesn’t mean there is any real reason for us to change that.”