Former Australian skipper Ian Chappell has lauded England captain Jos Buttler's decision to advocate for Ben Stokes' inclusion in the 2022 T20 World Cup squad. He stated that Stokes has an enviable reputation for doing well in crunch games.
Stokes' struggled with the bat leading up to the tournament as he found himself short of runs. However, the 31-year-old was impressive in must-win games for England, scoring crucial runs against Sri Lanka and in the final against Pakistan.
In his column for ESPNCricinfo, Chappell praised Buttler's cricketing nous for backing Stokes despite the latter not playing a lot of T20I cricket.
"Stokes has an enviable record of performing at his best when the stakes are highest. It's no wonder England captain Jos Buttler demanded his presence in the World Cup squad. The fact that Buttler pushed for Stokes' presence in the T20 squad despite the allrounder's rare appearances in the format speaks highly of the captain's short-form knowledge.
"Buttler displays much T20 expertise and the one-on-one sessions in which he talked with England players about their role further enhanced those leadership qualities."
Stokes' match-winning 52* off 49 in the final at the MCG meant he had redeemed himself from the 2016 World T20 final against the West Indies. The star all-rounder conceded four consecutive sixes against Carlos Brathwaite, while defending 19 off the final over.
"There is no place in theTest team for an out-of-sorts Buttler" - Ian Chappell
Simultaneously, Ian Chappell admits that Stokes is in no position to pick Buttler in the Test team, having failed in red-ball cricket. Nevertheless, the 79-year-old admits that the all-rounder can draw inspiration from his T20 World Cup exploits to grow as Test captain.
"Unfortunately for Stokes, he can't repay Buttler's confidence when leading the Test team. As England's biggest challenge will be making sure they pick their best Test side, this option is not available to Stokes. There is no place in the Test team for an out-of-sorts Buttler."
The South Australian added:
"Stokes is evolving as a captain and has also produced enough magical performances in the heat of battle to be considered a miracle worker by his team-mates. This is invaluable for a captain. Being a smart cricketer, Stokes can now advance his Test leadership by shrewdly assessing those aspects of a successful T20 World Cup campaign that attracted his attention."
Stokes, who succeeded Joe Root has sustained only one loss in seven Tests since becoming England's full-time Test captain.