England’s Test team skipper, Ben Stokes, is on the brink of joining an elite club of players who have represented their nation in 100 Test matches. This milestone awaits him as he gears up for the Rajkot Test against India, following England’s recent defeat in Visakhapatnam.
As England aim to bounce back, Stokes is poised to etch his name alongside cricketing legends like Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting, and Virat Kohli. Additionally, joining the likes of fellow English cricketers like Kevin Pietersen, James Anderson, and Stuart Broad, he will become the 74th cricketer and the 16th Englishman to reach this landmark.
Stokes’s journey, unfolding in the ongoing Test series against India, showcases his passion and panache, not only in white-ball cricket but also in the longest format. Despite undergoing knee surgery just months ago, his determination was evident as he took the field in Hyderabad for the first Test against India.
His leadership and performance in the initial Tests, particularly in the victorious opening match, offer glimpses of his iconic Test career, inspiring cricketers worldwide.
Top 5 Test Performances
2013 – England vs Australia, Perth
Playing his debut Test series in the Ashes is considered an accolade by many. Stokes’ memories from only his second Test match for his national side also brought him onto the radar of the cricketing world.
Despite England suffering a whitewash in the 2013/14 Ashes series, one positive emerged with the discovery of Stokes’ talents. In the second Test in Perth, Stokes, a newcomer to the squad at the time, showcased his abilities while other senior players struggled. At 22, the English all-rounder achieved his first international Test century in England’s second innings, scoring an impressive 120 runs from 195 balls.
Apart from his batting prowess, Stokes also picked up three wickets across his two innings with the ball. However, his powerful display wasn’t enough for England as Australia won the match by 150 runs.
2015: England vs New Zealand, Lord’s
In his 10th Test for England, Stokes, renowned as one of the world’s best all-rounders, left an indelible mark in both innings, making history.
During his first innings at the crease, alongside Joe Root, Stokes orchestrated a remarkable turnaround for England, rallying from a precarious position of 30/4 on Day 1. With aggressive stroke play, he notched up 92 runs off 94 balls, instrumental in propelling England to a formidable total of 389 runs.
In the second innings, Stokes continued his stellar performance, scoring another 101 runs off 92 balls. His brilliance extended beyond batting, as he also claimed a 3-wicket haul in England’s bowling effort.
2016: England vs South Africa, Cape Town
During this match, Ben Stokes’ name rose even higher in prominence as the batter scored his maiden double-century in the first innings against a helpless South Africa side. Stokes accumulated a crackling 258 runs off 198 balls, featuring 30 boundaries and 11 sixes.
His innings marked the 13th highest individual score by an England international in the history of the format. Accompanied by another brilliant 150 off 191 by Johnny Bairstow, England reached a phenomenal total of 629/6d.
The match evolved into one of the most extraordinary Tests played in the last decade as South Africa fell just 2 runs short of England’s total, posting 627/7d, ultimately securing a draw on the final day of the match.
2016: England vs India, Rajkot
The current England skipper will be looking to replicate somewhat of the same performance in the third Test against India as he showcased during the 2016 Test against the same opposition, and that too at the same stadium.
Stokes marked another prolific innings with a first 128 off 235 balls, which propelled his side to reach a gigantic total of 537 runs. Although he was not the only highlight-worthy English batter in the match, Stokes’ innings provided England with the much-needed balance to navigate through their first innings with diligence.
Once again, England failed to capitalise on the momentum despite Stokes’s innings, as a brilliant partnership between Indian batters Cheteshwar Pujara and Murali Vijay led to another draw for England.
2019: England vs Australia, Leeds
Often considered as one of the greatest innings of Stokes, his innings in the 2019 Ashes was one that kept him in the sports headlines for days to come.
In the opening innings, Ben Stokes showcased his bowling prowess during his brief spell with the ball. The Englishman claimed the crucial wicket of Australian batsman Marcus Labuschagne, who was batting at 74 off 129 balls and posed a significant threat to elevate his team’s innings total to a formidable level.
Stokes showcased his bowling prowess during England’s second innings, securing three crucial wickets and once again preventing a strong Australian batting lineup from gaining an advantage in the game.
Adding the icing on the cake, Stokes’s remarkable unbeaten innings of 135 runs off 218 balls, amidst the collapse of most other England batters, led his team to a formidable victory in the match.
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