After losing the series opener at the Ageas Bowl, it has put the hosts in a must-win situation this week in Manchester, if they want to reclaim the Wisden Trophy.
The hosts will be hoping they can convert their start into a winning one by dismissing the West Indies on day three as quickly as possible. While the onset of the match Stokes expressed the need for the England team to show their support for Jofra Archer.
Sam Curran would certainly have missed out from the starting line-up had Archer not breached the bio-security protocols with his unauthorised trip to Brighton at the start of the week. Which in-turn earned him a five-day period in self-isolation.
Stokes in the meeting said- “We really need to be there to support Jofra right now,"
“Obviously he is a big talking point and he is by himself because of everything else going on at the moment. It’s about making sure that it doesn’t feel like he’s by himself. The worst thing we could do right now as a team is just leave him,"
“It’s all good being there for people when things are going well and smoothly but what really comes through is how you operate with someone when they need you the most,”
Stokes himself was many times in the eye of storm and it's been the persistence that made him the regular and earned him the best all-rounder title in the team.
“At times like this people are very, very tough and you can feel like you are all by yourself, but I don’t think anybody is going to allow that to happen,” stokes added.
“Jofra is a massive part of this group, as everybody is. If it was anybody else bar Jofra it would be exactly the same,”
Stokes spoke these words after he scored his second highest score for the English team,his innings of 176 included 17 fours and 2 sixes and also included a lot of running which kept the visitors on hold.
He along with Sibley added 260 runs for the 4th wicket, in which Stokes took must of the action.
“Numbers, figures…I don’t really care. The main number for me is how many wins,” he said.
“I was more buzzing that I faced 300 balls than I was when I got to my hundred, that’s something I never thought I’d be capable of.“I feel at an age and an experience level where I really understand my game pretty much all the time and I try not to get carried away," Stokes further added.
Stoke's stunning 176 along with a steady 120 from the bat of Dom Sibley steered England to 469 for the loss of 9 wickets and declared their innings at Old Trafford. The visitors in reply ended the day at 32 for the loss of 1 wicket.
Cover Credits: MetroSports