PUNE: England all-rounder Ben Stokes on Thursday said that he has not changed his batting style to bat at number three in the ongoing ODI series against India.
In the absence of regular number three batsman Joe Root, Stokes was promoted up in the batting order in the first ODI of the three-match series. However, Stokes failed to impress with the bat and got out after scoring just one run.
“It is a slightly different role batting at number three than my normal five or six position in this team. Potentially, you will be facing 100 balls compared to maybe 50-60 balls like I normally do. So, I’ve not changed too much,” Stokes said in a virtual press conference on Thursday.
“It was my first game since the World Cup final, great to be back out there and play some ODI cricket. There’s gonna be a talk about whoever is gonna fill that place at number three with Root not being here. There is always gonna be a discussion about it but people keep talking and I’ll just go out and try to do what I’ve been asked to do,” he added.
England lost the first ODI by 66 runs and will look to level the series in the second game on Friday.
“Disappointed with how things ended up last game, we know we are a much better team than that. We are very good at putting previous games to bed quickly whether that be a successful game or a poor game. All our concentration will be on tomorrow,” Stokes said.
Stokes further briefed about the injuries sustained by the skipper Eoin Morgan and batsman Sam Billings during the first ODI. “Very unfortunate injuries to have from a team point of view. On the bright side, when Sam first fell over, we all held our breath as he had a shoulder issue in the past but then thankfully, things weren’t as bad as we initially thought, he is obviously continuing to get assessed.
“With the split webbing, Morgan has got, it could be quite annoying, I haven’t spoken to him about that since he has done it. So, I’m not sure where he is at, I’m sure he will be fine. Thankfully, Sam especially is a lot better than what we initially thought,” the all-rounder said.
Stokes feels that Liam Livingstone will capitalise on the opportunity if given and called him a “fearless” cricketer. “He has been very impressive in training. Watching him go about his game, how he has developed from when he first came to Lancashire side. He has progressed as a batsman and he is a very very dangerous player. He is one of those guys who won’t let the occasion get on top of them if he gets the opportunity to play. He is a very fearless cricketer. He has got the type of batting style that we want to involve in our set-up going forward. So, if he just gets the opportunity there is no doubt that he’ll embrace the opportunity and the situation,” Stokes said.
The second ODI between England and India will be played at the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) Stadium on Friday.