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"Just look at what has happened to Virat Kohli and Kane Williamson" - Nasser Hussain believes Ben Stokes feared becoming stale by taking on all three formats

Ben Stokes has had a troubled history with knee injuries
Ben Stokes has had a troubled history with knee injuries
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Gokul Nair

Former England captain Nasser Hussain feels Ben Stokes did not want to function in a depleted capacity across all three formats.

Stokes recently announced his retirement from ODI cricket and played his last match on Tuesday (July 19) that ended in a 62-run loss to South Africa in Durham.

The all-rounder chose to retire from ODIs after claiming the prospect of playing in all three formats and franchise cricket was unsustainable. Recently appointed captain of the Test team, Stokes has chosen to divert his focus to the remaining two formats instead of the arguably dormant 50-over game.

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Opining that the Durham player wants to function at his best and avoid a drop in performance levels like Virat Kohli and Kane Williamson, Nasser Hussain wrote for his column in the Daily Mail:

"Some might suggest 80% of Stokes is enough but the problem is that once you play at 80%, it can lead lead to a drop in performance in another format. Just look at what has happened to Virat Kohli and Kane Williamson, for example. He doesn't want to become stale."

Being a core member as well as captain of the side for several years has definitely taken a toll on Virat Kohli. The ace batter relinquished the captaincy from all formats last year in a bid to regain his lost touch and is being given a reduced workload as well.

"After a couple of balls he was limping off towards the side of the pitch" - Nasser Hussain on Ben Stokes' display in his final ODI

The World Cup-winner had a forgettable outing in his last ODI for England. Playing on his home ground, Stokes conceded 44 runs in five overs with the ball. Later on, coming out to bat while chasing 334, the all-rounder departed for just five after missing out on a reverse sweep off Aiden Markram.

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Stating that the southpaw did not look fully fit in his last outing, Hussain wrote:

"Compared to years gone by, when he was fully fit, Tuesday was drastically different. After a couple of balls he was limping off towards the side of the pitch, not fully maintaining his momentum through the crease and down it."

Stokes was rested for the T20I series against India before being recalled for the ODIs. Considering the busy summer he has had, the retirement from ODIs will give him time to recuperate and prepare for the T20I and Test series against South Africa.


Edited by Aranya Chaudhury
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