All-rounder is desperate to get his team’s campaign under way after guiding them to a series-clinching win against Pakistan
England all-rounder Ben Stokes is desperate to get his team’s World Cup campaign under way after guiding them to a series-clinching win over Pakistan.
Stokes held his nerve following a top-order collapse with an innings of 71 not out as the hosts eventually chased down a target of 341 in the last over of Friday's fourth one-day international at Trent Bridge.
Victory gave England an unassailable 3-nil series lead ahead of Sunday's finale at Headingley.
But for multi-format players such as Stokes this may be the least of England's achievements in a home season featuring both the World Cup and an Ashes series.
“We were talking about this, I think it might have been last night, how lucky we are as players to be involved in a home World Cup and home Ashes in the same summer, it's very exciting to think about,” said Stokes. “I just want it to start.”
The all-rounder said that the team was focused on the series against Pakistan and was not thinking about the World Cup at the moment.
"We wanted to make sure our focus was on this series and not be thinking about the World Cup and we've done a great job so far,” he said. “We'd love to take the (Pakistan) series 4-0 but, whatever happens, it is a clean slate after Headingley and we need to concentrate on the World Cup.”
The 27-year-old’s innings was a timely boost for England, bidding to win the World Cup for the first time, as it showed they could get out of a tight spot when their 'Plan A' of blistering run-scoring by their specialist batsmen was not enough to win a game.
“It's always nice to get some time out in the middle and it's good to take some positives forward with the World Cup just around the corner,” said Stokes. “As everyone knows, we generally seem to have a stinker somewhere in a series.”
Stokes believed that the manner in which victory was obtained in the previous match would boost the confidence of the team.
“This could have been that game for us but the confidence we'll take from losing four quick wickets then still finishing off the game will stand us in great stead. The most confidence I'll take from that was being there at the end. The one thing I wanted to do and not throw it away when we got to that winning position,” the Durham star added.
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