Tuesday, 7 December 2021

‘Ben Stokes is the first pick’ – Trevor Bayliss

LONDON-ICC: England coach Trevor Bayliss has heaped praise on Ben Stokes following the star all-rounder’s role in England’s 3-0 clean sweep of Sri Lanka.

With his ability to make an impact with bat, ball and in the field, Ben Stokes is a very valuable asset for England. In the Test series against Sri Lanka, he finished with five wickets – the most for a fast bowler from either side – at an average of 20.40, often coming in to give things a stir with his seam bowling if the Sri Lankans got too comfortable playing the spinners.

With the bat, he scored 187 runs at 31.16, chipping in with noteworthy contributions without setting things ablaze. And his athleticism and energy in the field was – as always – for all to witness. In individual departments, Stokes might not have had very compelling returns, but it is the overall package that makes him coach Bayliss’ first choice.

“You can throw the ball to him, you can put him in any situation with the bat, you can put him where the ball is coming in the field [he took nine catches in this series],” gushed Bayliss. “For me he’s the first pick. His averages may not be the greatest. But you add those three disciplines together and it adds up to one hell of a player.”

The coach was also pleased by the application shown by Jonny Bairstow in scoring a match-winning century in the final Test despite just coming off a brief injury layoff. Bairstow scored a fine 110 from No.3 – a position Bayliss feels Bairstow could make his own even on the more seaming surfaces of England.

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