Sir Garfield Sobers, regarded as one of the greatest all-rounders of all-time has said he feels England must use Ben Stokes’ skills more, both with bat and ball to utilize his full potential.
“You look at them (England) and I think Stokes, I like him,” Sobers told Express Sport.
“I watch him and I have seen him play on wickets where the top batsmen struggle. He comes in and makes it look like the best wicket in the world.”
Stokes is rarely given the full quota of ten overs in a match, often brought in as a fifth or sixth choice bowler in ODIs, and he is also utilized lower down the order to often accommodate Jos Buttler.
In Sobers’ estimation, Stokes is “up there” with the best all-rounders. His performances in the World Cup so far have stood out in all three departments, scoring 89 off 79 balls in the opening game against South Africa and taking a stunning one-handed catch near the boundary, following it up with taking three wickets for 23 runs against Bangladesh at Cardiff.
He was also at the crease when England scored the winning runs against West Indies in Southampton on Friday, and looks set to continue his good form.
“He’s a very, very good bowler and good catcher,” said Sobers.
“When you look at an all-rounder point of view, he’s up there. I think with him and (Jofra) Archer, there is a good line up there.”
Sobers also had a word of advice for the players in the England camp, saying having a consistent line-up was the key to being successful in tournaments like the World Cup.
“I think you’ve got to recognise your team and be consistent with the team.
“Look at your weaknesses and your strengths. Even in a game, who do you think is the best.
“Whatever captain handles his team right, because you have players who can bowl in certain situations quite well if something happens, will be successful.
“You’ve got to recognise your personal situations. Once you’ve done that you’ve got a good chance of winning,” he said.