‘Since Trevor’s been our coach he’s always been on to me about doing too much,’ Ben Stokes reveals it has been tough to tone down full-throttle style to international cricket
- Ben Stokes has always played international cricket with a very high intensity
- But that has also meant that Stokes has suffered from injuries and cramp
- The 27-year-old’s chronic cramps in sultry Sri Lanka were partly self-inflicted
Ben Stokes admits he is struggling to tone down his full-throttle approach to international cricket as England return to the scene of their limited-overs humiliation this Saturday afternoon.
But for Stokes’ efforts on one leg on Tuesday, the record ODI defeat suffered at Colombo’s Premadasa Stadium might have been by a greater margin than the eventual 219 runs.
However, the 27-year-old’s chronic cramps in sultry Sri Lanka were partly self-inflicted by his insistence on throwing himself headlong into practice before each of his appearances.
Ben Stokes admits he is struggling to tone down his full-throttle approach to cricket
England coach Trevor Bayliss warned Stokes not to risk injury by pushing himself too hard
Opting for a 90-minute net with the bat followed by full bowling and fielding drills the evening before the fifth and final match of the 50-over series led coach Trevor Bayliss to publicly question the merits of such an approach.
‘Since Trevor’s been our coach he’s always been on to me about doing too much,’ Stokes revealed.
‘It’s a tough one to try and strike, though, because when it comes to game-time I want to judge myself on how I’ve felt with the bat and ball in training.
Stokes has been told to calm down but that isn’t in the tenacious batsman’s nature
‘Whether I’ve done what I felt I needed to do, so that every game I go into I know I’ve prepared properly and done everything I normally do.’
England’s premier all-rounder – who claims to be the sweatiest member of the touring party, alongside Liam Plunkett – arguably suffered for the dead rubber being the only contest in the 3-1 win to go the distance due to the omnipresent thunderstorms in the country at this time of year. More are forecast for Saturday’s one-off Twenty20 fixture.
After a year in which his off-field conduct resulted in him missing the entire 2017-18 Ashes and being stripped of the Test vice-captaincy, Stokes understandably wants to look forward – to a 2019 summer of Ashes and World Cup – rather than dwell on a period in his life that saw him acquitted of affray in a Bristol court in August.
Stokes was struggling physically by the end of Tuesday’s record one-day defeat by Sri Lanka
‘It’s over and done with now so I don’t like to think about it,’ he reflected. Not strictly true as he faces two ECB disrepute charges along with Alex Hales in December.
On selection grounds, however, he remains indispensable to England across all formats – something that cannot be said for Joe Root, who is hoping for a T20 recall after being axed against India in late summer and persuaded to rest for the triangular versus Australia and New Zealand at the turn of the year.
Meanwhile, midway to the next World Twenty20, Sri Lanka are ready to unleash ambidextrous bowler Kamindu Mendis onto the global scene. Their former Under-19 captain is likely to debut under the Premadasa lights alongside veteran fast bowler Lasith Malinga, who last appeared at this level over a year ago.
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