The IPL 2017 has witnessed tremendous exciting moments apart from being filled with exhilarating run chases, fascinating bowling and fielding. T20 is a game of uncertainties and all-rounders play a pivotal role in this format. England and Rising Pune Supergiants all-rounder Ben Stokes is one such all-rounder who has proved his worth for both his national and IPL side time and again.
Bought for a whopping Rs 14.50 crore by Pune in this edition of the cricketing extravaganza, Stokes, the richest England cricketer is set to skip his country's upcoming two-match ODI series against Ireland in order to be available for the entire duration of 14 league matches of his franchise.
Stokes battled cramps and fatigue to strike a majestic century and take his team to victory against Gujarat Lions on Monday. He came to the crease with his team struggling at 10 for 3 at one time and then 42 for 4.
However, Stokes formed a formidable partnership of 76 runs for the fifth wicket with former Indian captain MS Dhoni to take his team towards the 162 run-target. Later, on he was joined by Dainel Christian as they chased down the target with ease.
It was not the first time that Stokes gave match-winning performances against his team. He rose to the occasion in the Mumbai vs Pune game and took two wickets for 21 runs in his alloted 4 overs. His performance had thus helped his team register a thrilling 3-run win over their arch-rivals.
Ben Stokes is the best all-rounder in world cricket in this era and has proved it across formats. In 2016, he had hit the second-fastest double ten in Test matches against South Africa. He also had an effective ODI, Test and T20 series against India recently where he drew the attention of his IPL franchise.
England has time and again given high quality all-rounders such as Sir Ian Botham and Andrew Flintoff amongst others. In the current era, Ben Stokes and Chris Woakes have taken the baton from the old warhorses while helping their team achieve remarkable success across formats.
Since debuting for his national side on December 5, 2013, Stokes has helped his team earn victories all over the globe. The 25-year-old also played a pivotal role in his team's run-up to the 2016 World T20 final where they were eventually outplayed by West Indies.
In this IPL, Stokes has justified his high price tag by bagging 3 Man-of-the-match awards and has been responsible for Pune's rise to the 4th spot in the IPL points table after a poor start in the tournament.Pune has now won 5 of their last six games and their resurgence has been largely due to Stokes' exploits in the IPL. He has helped his team rise like a phoenix and will have to continue in the same vein for Pune to cement a spot in the play-offs.