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England Test captain Ben Stokes is about to join the 100 club.
The 32-year-old will reach the milestone in the third Test against India, which begins in Rajkot on Thursday.
Stokes will join legends Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting and Virat Kohli in making his 100th Test appearance.
Stokes will become the 74th and 16th English cricketer to reach this milestone, following the likes of Kevin Pietersen, James Anderson and Stuart Broad.
On the eve of his 100th cap, Mail Sport’s Richard Gibson looks back on six of England captain Ben Stokes’ best Test performances.
Ben Stokes scored Lord’s fastest Test hundred in England’s win over New Zealand in 2015
against New Zealand: 92, 101; 0-105, 3-38 (Lord, 2015)
A preview of Bazball was provided when England’s new No 6 (he had been in seven recently in the Caribbean and just eight the previous summer) responded to a 30-for-four with a counter-attack.
“You can tell you’re facing a Brendon McCullum team by looking around the field,” Stokes said.
Yes, he saw slips and ravines, but also the gaps that tempted him to execute his blows. Reaching those gaps helped England score 389 and then, overcoming a first innings deficit of 134, achieved Lord’s fastest Test hundred, off just 85 balls.
For his final trick, with the ball, he dismissed Kane Williamson and McCullum in consecutive deliveries to lead the home team to an incredible victory.
against Australia: 5; DNB, DNB, 6-36 (Trent Bridge, 2015)
Stokes’ sensational claw catch to dismiss Adam Voges, as the ball flew low behind him at fourth slip, created one of the iconic images of the Ashes – the look of disbelief on the face of day one hero Stuart Broad, instantly memorable.
Broad demolished Australia for 60 to make light of Jimmy Anderson’s absence, but it was Stokes, bowling the ball generously, who stepped up for the second time to help England regain the Ashes with a match to spare.
First, he broke Australia’s opening century stand and showed underrated versatility as a bowler throwing deliveries here and there, rewarding three Australian left-handers with no swingers released around the wicket.
Stokes celebrates his double century against South Africa in Cape Town in 2016
against South Africa: 258, 26; 1-100 (Cape Town, 2016)
His hundred maidens had come from afar in Ashes, but this one was not only from abroad but from another world. An entry on steroids.
As Stokes recalled, “he just got going and couldn’t stop”, eschewing captain Alastair Cook’s advice to play himself on the second morning, hitting seven of his first 15 boundary deliveries, to go past his 74 for the night in the morning at three. figures.
With his feet firmly on the ground, he went from 100 to 200 in 58 balls, putting him second only to Nathan Astle for the fastest double hundreds in Test cricket. His 11 sixes were second only to Wasim Akram in terms of Test innings.
“I’ll never play like that again in my life,” he suggested. Fortunately, he was wrong.
against Australia: 8,135*; 1-45, 3-56 (Headingley, 2019)
As ghostwriter of On Fire, his story of that remarkable summer, I had the pleasure of seeing this legendary entry twice alongside Stokes.
Listening to him go through it step by step in forensic detail was fascinating: the clinical thinking, the doubts about what the Australians would do next, the execution of their plans.
The England star produced an impressive performance to achieve victory over Australia in 2019.
Mixing brains (knowing that runs were irrelevant and all that mattered was staying in the crease, he finished the day three for two off 50 balls) with brawn, his performance of a lifetime took England home during an unbroken stoppage of 76 runs for the 10th wicket that contained enough drama to satisfy the Netflix nuts for a year.
against West Indies: 176, 78*; 1-29, 2-30 (Old Trafford, 2020)
A characteristic of his career is that disappointments are resolved as quickly as possible, and in spectacular fashion. Replacing Joe Root earlier in the month, Stokes had lost his first Test as England captain.
He gave up the bracelet, but not the responsibility of leading the team to a series-tying victory.
Having batted all over from 3 to 11 in Tests, he opened for the first time here, after a methodical century in propelling the hosts to a position that made the third day’s rain loss irrelevant.
A quick fire declaration gave England 85 overs to dismiss the West Indies for the second time. They only needed 71; Stokes, naturally, breaks the society of greater resistance.
against Australia: 17,155; 0-21, 1-26 (From the Lord, 2023)
Proof that your winning mentality doesn’t always result in victories.
Stokes came up short in another incredible match against Australia in 2023
Stokes starred in another melodramatic match, refusing to give up on a lost cause, having arrived at the box with the score reading 45 for four on the fourth night.
Fueled by a feverish atmosphere from Lord, developed by Jonny Bairstow’s walk and a pantomime performance by Stuart Broad at the other end, he evoked memories of the Headingley heist four years earlier with his ferocious ball-striking.
A high-flurry match had featured two sixes until Stokes teed off. He reached nine. While there, England dared to dream once more.
Crunching, the Australians gave him life. His heads fell. But another mistake ended the fun and he reminded us that fallibility remains one of his many qualities.