Melbourne, Nov 13 (IANS) Star all-rounder Ben Stokes on Sunday hailed a new legacy under captain Jos Buttler after England became the Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 champion at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Left-arm pacer Sam Curran (3/12) and leg-spinner Adil Rashid (2/22) bowled brilliant spells to restrict Pakistan to 137/8 before an unbeaten fifty from Stokes (52 not out off 49) helped England crown themselves as winners of Men’s T20 World Cup with a five-wicket victory.
England added the T20 World Cup to their 50-over title, becoming the first team in men’s cricket history to hold both trophies simultaneously.
With the now-retired Eoin Morgan — who captained England to victory at the Lord’s in 2019 — standing beside him as a commentator, Stokes said that Buttler had put his own stamp on the team as skipper.
“When the great man stepped down and Jos took over, you look how quickly he managed to take control of the team and progress it from the legacy that Morgan’s left. Jos has now created his own legacy,” the all-rounder told Sky Sports.
“He’s a guy who everyone follows on the field and it shouldn’t be taken for granted how hard it can be making tactical decisions under pressure in this format,” he added.
Adil Rashid’s wicket-maiden, with a brilliant caught-and-bowled to remove Babar Azam in the 12th over of Pakistan’s innings, was also an important turning point as he claimed 2 for 22.
“Adil Rashid, Sam Curran, that’s what won us the game. That was a tricky wicket, it was never one that you felt you were ever in on,” Stokes said.
“When you chase totals in games like this you so often forget the hard work that’s gone in before. The way that Sam and Rash and all the bowlers bowled to restrict them…I think that was a huge reason why we didn’t feel under too much pressure with the run chase.
“I never felt like it was out of our hands at all and [I was] just trying to make sure I stayed there as long as I possibly could at the end,” he added.
The 31-year-old Stokes and skipper Buttler pinpointed England’s loss to Ireland in their rain-affected group game as another turning point, in the context of the tournament.
“With that being so early on in the competition we obviously had to address it, say what we said, and then let it go because in tournaments you can’t carry baggage with you,” Stokes said.
“That was a little blip on the way. Credit to Ireland for turning up and beating us but the best teams learn from their mistakes, they take it on the chin but they never let it affect them and they just let it go and move onto the next challenge. I feel as if we’ve lived up to all the challenges that we’ve had thrown at us throughout the tournament,” he added.