Why Ben Stokes is the ultimate cricketer: NASSER HUSSAIN on England's 16th centurion - the complete showman - and what sets him apart from the greats

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Simply to subordinate nan database of England cricketers who person won 100 Test caps, you person to beryllium 1 of nan all-time greats, and nan travel requires respective facets: longevity, accomplishment and intelligence toughness among them.

Within your peculiar discipline, you person to beryllium nan complete player, achieving a world-class modular and sustaining it while coping pinch nan intelligence and beingness pressures of competing astatine world level. All while spending tons of clip distant from home, distant from family.

By definition, appearing connected this database intends you person made an outstanding publication to English cricket.


But nan point that sets isolated Ben Stokes, who will go nan 16th Englishman connected that unthinkable list, is that he has completed nan adjacent intolerable task of ticking each azygous container arsenic an world cricketer.

Geoffrey Boycott was a awesome batter, but personification who didn't vessel much.

Ben Stokes is group to subordinate nan database of English cricketers to person won 100 Test caps this week

He has completed nan adjacent intolerable task of ticking each azygous container arsenic an world star

England's all-time starring wicket taker, nan ridiculously talented Jimmy Anderson, is simply a No 11.

Sir Ian Botham, England's top cricketer successful my opinion, didn't person immoderate of nan activity skills of others.

A skipper arsenic revered arsenic Mike Brearley grounded to make nan list, because he couldn't clasp down a spot agelong word purely connected his batsmanship.

Stokes, however, has each bases covered. On batting alone, he would beryllium successful my XI. He has been an exceptional bowler too, moving nan shot sideways arsenic good arsenic anyone successful spells during a profession successful which, but for injury, he'd person taken galore much than 197 Test wickets.

As an all-rounder he'd beryllium up location pinch Botham and Andrew Flintoff. Able to make action arsenic 1 of six batters aliases 4 seamers.

As an all-rounder, Stokes (right) would beryllium up location pinch Sir Ian Botham and Andrew Flintoff

Botham (left) didn't person immoderate of nan activity skills arsenic others and James Anderson is simply a No 11 (right)

It is debatable whether location has been a much complete fielder for England.

Whether it beryllium nan catches he has taken successful nan slips. Who tin hide nan singular drawback disconnected Stuart Broad successful nan Ashes Test astatine Trent Bridge successful 2015? Or nan tally retired of Ravindra Jadeja from mid-on successful nan first Test astatine Hyderabad past period to push England a measurement nearer towards their 28-run win?

He is besides nan complete showman. He doesn't conscionable grind retired scores successful nan mode of Alastair Cook. This is simply a man who puts bums connected seats. Someone who views it arsenic his occupation to entertain.

And nan last tick successful nan container has travel later connected successful his profession done his outstanding captaincy skills.

Like others, he has been blessed by a touch of genius, but for him it has not proved a curse. The shortcoming of immoderate predecessors was an inability to understand those that cannot execute to their level.

Of course, Stokes' profession has been afloat of brilliant things. Like nan unbeaten, match-winning 100 astatine against Australia astatine Headingley successful 2019. But location has besides been an knowing of team-mates who can't rather scope those heights.

Stokes' profession is afloat of brilliant things, for illustration his match-winning 100 astatine Headingley successful 2019

His 2 years successful complaint person been transformative and Stokes, a showman, gets bums connected seats

His 2 years successful complaint person been transformative. Within cricket, only Eoin Morgan is comparable arsenic an England skipper who successfully overhauled a style of play overnight.

Stokes has not only re-written nan England manual, he has won 70 per cent of matches successful nan process.

And I for 1 americium truthful grateful that he stuck astir to look aft Test cricket, erstwhile others mightiness person chosen to rotation disconnected into a franchise sunset astatine nan property of 30.

I can't retrieve a boring Test among these past 20 matches. He's talked nan talk but besides gone retired location and walked nan walk, which is truthful heartwarming astatine a clip erstwhile nan early of nan world game's longest format appeared to beryllium nether threat.

His statistic are excellent. His mean pinch nan bat, 36. With nan ball, 32 - immoderate frontline bowlers would beryllium comfortable pinch that. His wide triumph ratio of 66.66% is amended than immoderate England skipper to person tasted triumph half a twelve times.

And he loves being successful nan battle, seemingly enjoying nan difficult times and nan unit moments much than thing else.

Stokes has not only re-written nan England manual, he has besides won 70 per cent of matches

When it gets tough, he comes into his own. 

Everyone talks astir that 4th innings successful Leeds 5 years ago, but do not hide nan marathon spell that preceded it to support Australia successful range. There person been galore examples of him pushing himself to nan beingness limits.

And he's been done nan the ups and downs of life distant from nan crippled - nan intelligence wellness issues, well-documented off-field incidents. Coming backmost powerfully connected each occasion.

He's not different there. Every personification connected nan database he is joining will person had to spell done downturns. An England profession is ne'er a bully dependable curve. There will person been times erstwhile nan different 15 doubted themselves.

None person had nan scope of devices that capable Stokes' kitbag though, and that is what makes our 16th centurion successful Test appearances different.