The most expensive play of IPL 2017, Ben Stokes has made a decent start to his debut Indian Premier League campaign. But, still, lacks in the ability of bowling in death overs as he was smashed for 23 runs by Delhi Daredevils all-rounder Chris Morris on Tuesday night. That over must have brought back the memories of the World T20 2016 final when West Indian Carlos Brathwaite hit him for four consecutive sixes.
Even during the second innings against Delhi he only managed to score 2 runs off 5 deliveries with the bat. Stokes was purchased for an IPL record fee of Rs. 14.5 crore by the Rising Pune Supergiant. The final over against Delhi was the realization of a pre-tournament prediction from former Aussie skipper Ricky Ponting that targeting Stokes with the ball could be the secret to limiting his devastating all-around impact.
Predicting about Stokes impact in IPL 10, Ponting said, “To me, he looks like the sort of player that if he gets off to a good start then he’ll probably have a really good game. But if he gets attacked early on or under pressure early on, that’s when the game becomes really difficult.”
He further elaborated, “I’m sure (Pune) weren’t looking too much at his record because it is quite a tough game when you’re batting down the order and he’s probably bowling all the difficult overs as well. I’m not sure if the price tag puts any more pressure on him. I’m sure he’s thinking about the money because he’s got a lot more than anyone else has in an IPL auction.”
Ponting also asserted that the whole world has seen that Stokes doesn’t have the ability to soak in the pressure in crunch situations. He also acknowledged that Stokes is a talented all-rounder and RPS will be expecting a lot of him.
Stokes has always talked openly about his performance in the WT20 final as he feels that his maturity is growing in international cricket. However, his statement can’t be denied as he already has four Test centuries and three five-wicket hauls under his belt.