Ben Stokes’ performance in recent times has put him ahead of other all-rounders in the world currently. He was the man of the final in the 2019 World Cup, while he helped England levelled the Ashes with a win in the Leeds Test. So, is Ben Stokes the best all-rounder in the world currently?
Hardik Pandya is a challenger for the best all-rounder’s spot. So, who is the better all-rounder between Stokes and Pandya?
Cricwizz makes a comparison of the two’s achievements to decide who’s the better of the two across all formats.
The England all-rounder is an equal contributor in both batting and bowling. Stokes can be lethal with the bat. He single-handedly helped England win the Leeds Test with 135*. His highest Test score of 258 against South Africa came at a strike rate of 130.30 with 30 fours and 11 sixes. He is even a big hit with the ball, having taken 4 five-wicket hauls in 55 Tests.
In limited-overs cricket, Stokes is a big asset to his team. He proved his worth in the recent World Cup, where he played a tournament-winning knock of 84* against New Zealand in the final. His bowling too is bankable.
His fielding is world-class. He can pull off those stunning catches from nowhere and effect brilliant run-outs.
Pandya had a great start to his Test career. He cracked a fifty on his debut Test innings and a ton in just his third Test. He is still young to Test cricket and in good books of Virat Kohli, who believes Pandya gives the team the much-needed balance. He acts as a reliable fifth bowling option for India in Tests.
In limited-overs cricket, Pandya is a big hit as he provides the balance with his all-round skills. He has played those match-winning cameos, but a big knock to turn the match around on its ahead is yet to come from his bat. In terms of bowling, he acts as a fifth bowler, although he started his career with a bang with the man of the match performance of 3/31 in his debut ODI.
He is also a brilliant fielder, converting half-chances into wickets. He is brilliant in the outfield as well.
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Stokes has been around for 8 years in international cricket, while Pandya has been there for just three years. While it’s difficult to think of England without Stokes, Pandya stays in the line-up thanks to lack of other good all-round backups. Vijay Shankar has been around, but he is still a work in progress.
Here are the two players’ records in all formats of the game
Vital for team
England can’t think of life without their all-rounder, especially after his recent heroics in the World Cup and the Ashes. Stokes has been a vital cog for England across all formats. He played a few brilliant knocks recently in crunch games. And a player is remembered and revered more for those crucial innings or spells.
Pandya has been in and out of the team recently due to injuries. But he remains a vital cog for India, although he is yet to deliver big in terms of match-winning knocks like that of Stokes. However, Kohli and team management have a lot of faith in Pandya and think of him as a long-term solution to India’s all-round woes.
When backs are against the wall…
Stokes has a few failures in international cricket that the all-rounder has put it behind him after the successful World Cup campaign. In the 2016 World T20 final, he bowled the last over to Carlos Brathwaite and conceded four straight sixes to lose the trophy. He redeemed himself with a 2019 World Cup triumph. And he then came good in the 2019 Ashes a few seasons after he was left out of the series due to his brawl outside a pub. Stokes has come a long way since then.
Pandya too has his share of controversies. He made a few insensitive remarks in a TV show and was left out of the squad and subsequently served a suspension. He left those dark phases behind by starring in a successful IPL campaign for Mumbai Indians in 2019. He also played a good hand in 2019 World Cup campaign for India.
Both Stokes and Pandya are tough characters and can be counted upon to keep the past behind and focus on the challenges at hand.
When it matters most…
When it comes to crunch situations and games, Stokes has delivered successfully more than Pandya. Stokes’ World Cup final knock and 135* at Leeds are the numbers he is known for in won matches or campaign.
But Pandya lacks such figures although he has played those fighting knocks but in losing causes. Remember Pandya’s 2017 Champions Trophy final knock of 76 that came in trying circumstances, but it was not good enough to take India across the finish line.
Stokes is creating a benchmark with his all-round skills, and he has the maturity now to deliver it consistently. Pandya, on the other hand, is still learning the game but he can improve with experience. But in terms of skills, both are a match, but when it comes to delivering in key games, Stokes wins the battle hands down. Hence, Stokes is a better all-rounder than Pandya in current times.