ADELAIDE: England all-rounder Ben Stokes is hopeful that his bowling attack can contain the rampaging Suryakumar Yadav in the T20 World Cup semi-final against India even though his shots have forced him to scratch his head in awe.
He was also lavish in his praise for Indian legend Virat Kohli, who he thinks has “earned the right to be never written off”.
England’s top all-rounder is cautiously optimistic about his team’s chances in the big semi-final on Thursday.
“Suryakumar obviously came in and set the world alight. He is a fantastic player and plays some shots where you are sort of just scratching the head sometimes.
“He is in great form, but hopefully, we can try and shut him down and not allow him to get on one of his rampages,” Stokes, who has been impressive with the ball, told reporters in an interaction organised by the England & Wales Cricket Board.
Talking about Kohli, with whom Stokes has shared a healthy rivalry over the years, the Durham man was at his wits end that a player of that stature could be written off so easily after a downward spiral.
“I think with Virat he could have four unbelievable years like he had, and then have a not so loud couple of months and then for some reason plays like that and gets written off, we have got no idea why. I think he has earned the right to never be written off.”
Stokes admitted that England has reached the semi-finals without “playing their best cricket” so far but on a big day, against a good Indian team, that wouldn’t be the case.
“I think the way we have managed to get through not playing our best cricket so far and now we find ourselves here. So obviously it’s exciting.
“But we know we need to get this game done on Thursday, against a very strong Indian team which no one will ever take lightly,” Stokes put things as they are.
“This is because of the team they are and the players that they have in their squad. But we like to focus more on our squad and not think too much about them.”