Former head coach Chris Silverwood backs Ben Stokes to win all over England in the World Cup after his heroic display in a thrilling final over in their four-wicket win against Sri Lanka
- Former England coach Chris Silverwood pays tribute to batsman Ben Stokes
- Stokes saved England’s World Cup with an unbeaten 42 in their Sri Lanka win
- Silverwood backed Stokes to get England all the way into the tournament
A familiar face paid tribute to Ben Stokes yesterday after he saved England’s World Cup with an unbeaten 42 in a nerve-wracking final four-wicket win against Sri Lanka here.
Chris Silverwood, sacked as England coach on his last visit to Australia at the end of another Ashes debacle, has impressively rebuilt his career at Sri Lanka, almost seeing them cause a major upset against his old charges at the SCG .
But then Silverwood backed Stokes to take England all-out in their bid to unify both the 50-over and Twenty20 world titles as they gear up for their semi-final in Adelaide on Thursday, likely against India.
Former England coach Chris Silverwood (left) pays tribute to batsman Ben Stokes (right)
Stokes saved England’s World Cup with an unbeaten 42 in the last over from win against Sri Lanka
“Ben has been the talisman for the past few years and getting the team over here will give him a lot of confidence,” said Silverwood.
“It’s all about peaking at the right time, so keep an eye on this space. You can never rule him out, can you.”
Silverwood was keen not to talk here this week about his resignation from England and once again became the personification of diplomacy when asked if he found himself in a strange situation on the bench in Sri Lanka.
Silverwood (pictured) backs Stokes to completely conquer England at the World Cup
“For me it was just another game and that’s how I looked at it,” he said. ‘It was nice to catch up with some familiar faces and I still have a lot of friends in the camp in England. But today was about trying to win with Sri Lanka and seeing how our team continued to make progress.
“You have to say Ben had it under control for them. If we’d picked him up and got another wicket, that might have made things very interesting.’
And Silverwood was asked if it was nice to see Australia crash out of their own tournament after the pain he suffered here last winter.
“I don’t feel anything to be honest,” he insisted. ‘It’s not my concern. Anything can happen at this stage, but of course I wish England the best of luck. But whoever shows up now, wins this.’
England captain Jos Buttler insisted there was no doubt about Ben Stokes’ place in this T20 squad, even as he struggled to control the bat fluently here on his return to short form.
England captain Jos Buttler says there was no doubt about Ben Stokes’ place in the T20 squad
“Nobody in our group was ever questioned about him,” Buttler said. “He is a real match winner and he showed that in a different way today.”
England sweats on the fitness of Dawid Malan, who squeezed his left groin into the field and didn’t hit, although he was padded at the end to come in next time if needed.
If he’s not fit on Thursday, England could bring in one of their three traveling reserves, most likely Liam Dawson, but could even recruit one of their batters who will arrive here on Tuesday for the three one-day internationals ending this tour. In that case, James Vince or even Jason Roy could be in the frame.