Following their comprehensive eight-wicket win over India in the third T20I on Tuesday, England now lead the five-match T20 series 2-1. However, Ben Stokes hasn't had much of an impact with both bat and ball in the series.
Speaking with Nasser Hussain on Sky Sports in this regard, Robert Key was perplexed that one of England's most destructive batsman hasn't got a fifty in T20I cricket.
"I'm not sure I know the answer to this (On how England can use Ben Stokes better). But I do know is that they are not getting the best out of their best cricketer in all formats. If you have a look at Bens Stokes' stats in T20Is, one thing that is striking to me is that he hasn't even got a fifty. This is Ben Stokes. He is probably of England's most destructive powerful players, and he hasn't got a fifty. If you look at the position that he bats, generally, he is coming in later on in T20 cricket." Key said.
Key pointed out that Ben Stokes has two hundreds in the IPL, both of which came while he was opening the innings. The former batsman suggested England should look to promote the all-rounder up the order to get the best out of him.
"If he's coming in for the first five overs as an opener, he has got two hundreds in that time in the IPL. His game, I think, is more suited to earlier on. His strike rate of 134 at no 6 (in the IPL) does not look too bad, but when you compare that to the best no. 6 in the world in T20 cricket, they are striking at 170-180 or somewhere between that. So we need to find a way somehow to get more out of Ben Stokes." Key added.
Ben Stokes' T20 career at a glance
In 32 T20Is, Ben Stokes is averaging an underwhelming 19.1 with the bat, while his strike-rate is 132.6. His highest score in the shortest format of the game is 47*.
With the ball, Stokes has 17 wickets to his name, bowling at an economy rate of 8.78.
In 42 games in the IPL, Ben Stokes has fared better with the bat, averaging 26.2, doing so at a strike-rate of 135.09. The 29-year-old has two fifties and two hundreds in his IPL career.
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