Ben Stokes had a below-average T20I series against India, scoring just 84 runs in three innings. With the ball, the all-rounder picked up three wickets while conceding runs at an economy of 8.83.
Kevin Pietersen opened up on Stokes's usage by the England team management after the fifth T20I. He suggested that England promote Ben Stokes to number four in the order.
"Ben Stokes is completely wasted at 6 as a batter and bowling part-time. Bairstow in T20’s is an opener. If he doesn’t open, Stokes bats 4," Pietersen said.
Former England international Robert Key echoed Pietersen's sentiments. He added that Ben Stokes doesn't look too happy coming in at no.6.
"They need to get more from Stokes. ‘It’s not like he can’t do it; he was the MVP at the Indian Premier League a few years ago. He was the best player during that tournament. ‘He can play T20 cricket. But somehow, they need to get him more involved. It’s very hard for Stokes. He can bat early on when the field is up in the powerplay and then destroy sides. ‘He doesn’t strike me as someone happy to come in with five overs to go at No 6,’" Key observed.
England lost the recent five-T20I series against India 3-2, squandering a 2-1 lead.
Ben Stokes's best performance came in the 4th T20I, where he smashed 46 off 23 balls. But that wasn't enough as the visitors fell short by eight runs in the encounter.
The 46-run knock was Ben Stokes's second-highest T20I score. The all-rounder has yet to score a fifty in T20Is.
"The series was extremely productive" - Eoin Morgan
England might have come up second best in the decider, but skipper Eoin Morgan was satisfied with the experience his side gained from this 5-match T20I series ahead of the T20 World Cup later this year in India.
"I think the series was extremely productive. Playing an India team in their own conditions was fantastic. Ideally we would have played on turning wickets just to get that exposure, regardless of the result. We want to grow, and that is an area [we want to improve]. ‘Today was a fantastic game, and India outplayed us in big moments," Morgan said in the post-match presentation ceremony.
Eoin Morgan and his side will now lock horns with India in a 3-match ODI series which starts on March 23 in Pune.