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Ben Stokes is impossible to captain: Paul Collingwood

Ben Stokes
Ben Stokes. (Photo Source: BCCI)

England all-rounder Ben Stokes has scored a century, a half century and has grabbed a five-wicket haul against India in the ongoing five-Test match series. While most English batsmen apart from Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow haven’t found their feet in India; their bowlers aren’t able to strike through the Indian batting, Stokes has been equally reliable in both his trades.

That’s probably all the good a player would be expected to deliver but along with that he hasn’t quite been able to control his instinct of trying to get under the skin of the opposition players. Stokes was involved in an exchange with the Indian Test skipper Virat Kohli who too has been in red hot form and has scored over 400 runs in the series. His on-field behavior didn’t go down well with the ICC and he was reprimanded after the third Test at Mohali.

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Former England captain Paul Collingwood who leads the allrounder at Durham advised Alastair Cook to let Stokes be as he is impossible to captain. “There’s no point in trying to captain Ben Stokes,” said Collingwood. “I can sit here and pretend he’d listen to us. That’s beauty about him – he wants to be in the important points of the game and wants to play a big part in winning the game. He’s almost impossible to captain.

“He’s a real competitor and he’ll make sure that he finds a way to score runs and take wickets wherever that may be. He also brings something special to the dressing room. To have someone like him who is like an internal leader and helps the other lads is great for English cricket.”

Stokes is one of those players who has consistently been a part of the England team across formats and with a long season underway there is always the danger of burning out. But Collingwood knows Stokes won’t back off and would want to be a part of everything. “His workload is higher than probably anyone else in English cricket playing three forms of the game,” he said.

“You can try and give him the bigger picture but he wants to be part of everything and he’ll continue to be like that.

“Hopefully he looks after his body so he’s able to cope with it. I think that’s another phase in his education – there’s going to be a point where he’s going to have to understand he can’t go on 100 per cent on everything he does in life.” Collingwood said.

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