Chris Woakes says ‘superhuman’ Ben Stokes gives England confidence

By Sports Desk September 14, 2023

Chris Woakes says Ben Stokes’ record-breaking 182 gave England a timely reminder of what they can achieve with his “superhuman” skills.

Stokes was in rampant form against New Zealand on Wednesday, making the country’s highest ever ODI score in just his third innings since reversing his year-long retirement from the format.

With England’s World Cup defence less than three weeks away it was a perfect way for the man who carried them to victory in the 2019 final to prove his sense of occasion once again.

Stokes has nothing left to prove on the big stage but watching him bully England’s first World Cup opponents with nine sixes and 15 fours sent a wave of energy through the dressing room.

England went on to wrap up victory by a huge margin of 181 runs, another reminder that when he is in the side, the whole team walks a little taller.

“We obviously see Ben as this superhuman that can do incredible things. We know he can,” said Woakes, who picked up the baton with three early wickets in the field.

“It was great for the group and brilliant for Ben too. He’s an unbelievable cricketer but coming back into the team having retired, it will do his confidence a world of good.

“We always have doubts and performance anxieties at the best of times, so it’s great for his confidence and great for the team’s confidence and belief that we can post huge scores.

“It was amazing to be here and play in the game because that was an incredible knock.

“He struck it cleaner than anyone else out there. It just shows how good a player he is.”

Since walking away from 50-over cricket last summer citing workload issues, Stokes has poured his energies into his role as Test captain.

Working closely with head coach Brendon McCullum, he has revitalised the red-ball set-up, flipping their fortunes in dramatic fashion and playing out a thrilling drawn Ashes series that gripped the nation.

Woakes feels that stepping back into the ranks under Jos Buttler’s leadership, and operating as a specialist batter rather than all-action all-rounder, is a good thing for Stokes.

“I think him coming back into this team is probably a refreshing feeling for him, without the captaincy on his shoulders. To run the England Test team is a tough job,” he said.

“He’s probably seen this as a breath of fresh air, to play his natural game and be his natural person, which he always does.

“This group of players who have been around this team for a long time, always feel comfortable when we come back together.”

England’s World Cup squad has one more game together before departing for India, wrapping up their clash with the Black Caps at Lord’s on Friday.

There is hope that Jason Roy and Mark Wood will be fit for selection, with both sidelined for each of the last three matches. Roy has been laid low twice by back spasms and Wood has been kept in cotton well since ending the Ashes with a heel problem.

Roy, in particular, will be eager to feel bat on ball. Dawid Malan made 96 at opener on Wednesday to position himself as a viable alternative and Harry Brook continues to linger as a possible replacement should Roy’s fitness continue to raise questions.

“I think he’s hopeful. This close to a World Cup it’s a bit of a risk to throw him into a game when you’re unsure as to how he’s going to go,” said Woakes.

“Fingers crossed he’s alright. I’m sure he’s desperate to get out there and I’m sure he’s frustrated as well.

“Pre-World Cup you want to get a bit of form behind you and play as many games as possible but he’s a resilient character; the lads have got around him and I’m sure he’ll be fine.”

Related items

  • Boult confirms meeting with Papua New Guinea will be his final T20 World Cup match Boult confirms meeting with Papua New Guinea will be his final T20 World Cup match

    New Zealand's Trent Boult has confirmed that he will not play at another T20 World Cup.

    Boult, who has 32 wickets in 17 outings in the tournament, will prepare for the Black Caps' final game of this year's edition against Papua New Guinea on Monday.

    New Zealand exited a World Cup before the last four for the first time since 2014 after losing their opening games to Afghanistan and West Indies. 

    Despite earning their maiden win of the tournament against Uganda, Monday's fixture against Papua New Guinea means little for New Zealand.

    And 34-year-old Boult confirmed that match will be his final appearance at a T20 World Cup.

    "Speaking on behalf of myself, this will be my last T20 World Cup," Boult told the media.

    With him bowing out from the T20 World Cup, the Black Caps will now have to fill a gaping hole in their bowling attack for 2026.

    In the current squad, only three players will be under 30-years-old, with Tim Southee another standout name who looks set to step back in the coming years.

    Both Boult and Southee have played a pivotal role in recent ODI and T20 World Cups, and Boult is hopeful the latest edition of the competition will not be the last time he features alongside his good friend. 

    "I look at the partnership with Tim with very fond memories," he said. "We bowled a lot of overs together. I know the partnership very well, and obviously he's a very good friend on and off the ground.

    "It was nice to wind back the clock a little bit and see a bit of swing bowling at the top. Some great memories, and hopefully a couple more still to come."

  • Boult confirms meeting with Papau New Guinea will be his final T20 World Cup match Boult confirms meeting with Papau New Guinea will be his final T20 World Cup match

    New Zealand's Trent Boult has confirmed that he will not play at another T20 World Cup.

    Boult, who has 32 wickets in 17 outings in the tournament, will prepare for the Black Caps' final game of this year's edition against Papua New Guinea on Monday.

    New Zealand exited a World Cup before the last four for the first time since 2014 after losing their opening games to Afghanistan and West Indies. 

    Despite earning their maiden win of the tournament against Uganda, Monday's fixture against Papua New Guinea means little for New Zealand.

    And 34-year-old Boult confirmed that match will be his final appearance at a T20 World Cup.

    "Speaking on behalf of myself, this will be my last T20 World Cup," Boult told the media.

    With him bowing out from the T20 World Cup, the Black Caps will now have to fill a gaping hole in their bowling attack for 2026.

    In the current squad, only three players will be under 30-years-old, with Tim Southee another standout name who looks set to step back in the coming years.

    Both Boult and Southee have played a pivotal role in recent ODI and T20 World Cups, and Boult is hopeful the latest edition of the competition will not be the last time he features alongside his good friend. 

    "I look at the partnership with Tim with very fond memories," he said. "We bowled a lot of overs together. I know the partnership very well, and obviously he's a very good friend on and off the ground.

    "It was nice to wind back the clock a little bit and see a bit of swing bowling at the top. Some great memories, and hopefully a couple more still to come."

  • Cricket West Indies announces new partnership with FairBreak Foundation Cricket West Indies announces new partnership with FairBreak Foundation

    Cricket West Indies (CWI) and FairBreak Foundation have announced a new partnership to promote and support Women’s Cricket in the region.

    As well as FairBreak Invitational T20 Tournaments, FairBreak has created a new Foundation which will use donations to support grassroots women and girls cricket programmes across the Caribbean.

    FairBreak Global, are dedicated to promoting gender equality through Women’s Invitational T20 tournaments, having successfully hosted two ICC-sanctioned tournaments to date in Dubai (2022) and Hong Kong (2023).

    Johnny Grave, CWI Chief Executive Officer stated, “we are pleased and enthusiastic to be the first ICC Full Member Board to partner with FairBreak.  One of the new strategic objectives of CWI has been to achieve parity between women and men in cricket by 2027 and we believe that this partnership will allow us to showcase the talent and potential of female cricketers in the West Indies, while promoting inclusivity and gender equality within the sport.”

    Cheryll Rogers, FairBreak Chief Executive Officer commented, “we are delighted to partner with CWI and bring the support of FairBreak to the communities of the Caribbean. It has been my pleasure to bring FairBreak up to a new level for women’s cricket. Our aspiration is to partner with cricket boards and charities to uplift community cricket as well as create new pathways into the women’s professional game.  The new FairBreak team and their commitment to the highest standards of safety and governance, are setting a gold standard for the environment in which we invite players to play. Our tournaments will now be held in the best stadiums in the world, including the West Indies. A truly unique opportunity.”

    FairBreak’s commitment to the West Indies includes investment in grassroots cricket programmes that will benefit and inspire future generations of female cricketers throughout the region, as well through engaging local coaches, match officials and other support personnel in upcoming FairBreak Invitational T20 Tournaments planned for the future.

     

     

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.