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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Tom White

Ben Stokes’ record since taking over as England captain after latest heroics

PA Wire

Ben Stokes stepped up as England’s leader as they came up just short in pursuit of 371 in a thrilling second Ashes Test.

England’s captain threatened another trademark miracle to rival his efforts in both the World Cup final and the Headingley Ashes Test in the unforgettable summer of 2019, but on this occasion his 155 was not quite enough to get his side out of jail.

Here, the PA news agency looks at Stokes’ batting and bowling record since his appointment as captain.

Captain fantastic

Since taking on the captaincy full-time in June of last year, Stokes has been the figurehead for England’s new aggressive approach and his statistics reflect the shift in tone.

Most noticeable is his strike rate, up from 57.4 runs per hundred balls across 79 Tests prior to his appointment to a fraction over 70 in the 15 games since he took charge.

That has helped him average 39.40, compared to 35.89 before last June, scoring 867 runs in 24 innings with two hundreds and two fifties.

He ranks fifth among England run-scorers in that time with his and coach Brendon McCullum’s influence on the team even more pronounced – Harry Brook, Jonny Bairstow and Ben Duckett all have ‘Bazball’ strike rates north of 90, with Ollie Pope, Joe Root and Zak Crawley also in the 70s and ahead of Stokes.

That is even more pronounced in the current series, with the new approach experiencing its first questions amid a flurry of rash dismissals – particularly in the first innings at Lord’s as Duckett, Pope and Root all perished on the hook before Stokes demonstrated a willingness to duck the short ball.

Only bowlers James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Ollie Robinson have a lower strike rate in the series than Stokes’ still brisk 62.42 – even Josh Tongue has scored his 20 runs at 66.67. Stokes is England’s leading run-scorer with 216, four ahead of Duckett, while his average of 54 trails only Root’s 64.

Stokes’ bowling has taken something of a back seat as captain as he seemingly saves himself for the key moments, partly due to a lingering knee injury.

He has bowled in only 20 of 29 opposition innings, compared to 126 of 150 previously. That brings him down from 1.6 bowling innings per match to 1.3 and he averages 10.1 overs per innings compared to 13.3 previously.

His average and strike rate have both improved slightly to 31.69 and a wicket every 53 balls respectively, though he is yet to add to his four five-wicket hauls. His economy is marginally worse than before at 3.58 runs per over.


Stokes leads England’s new era in six-hitting, with nine in his blistering Lord’s innings taking him ahead of Brook to 28 in 24 innings.

He recently claimed the overall Test record, moving ahead of none other than McCullum’s 107 with two in February’s Test against New Zealand at Mount Maunganui before stretching his total to 118 with Sunday’s efforts.

Former Australia wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist is the only other man to hit 100 Test maximums and of the trio, Stokes has the highest ratio of sixes compared to fours – 14.4 per cent of his Test boundaries have cleared the ropes, compared to 12.1 and 12.9 per cent for McCullum and Gilchrist respectively.

The next two men short of 100 – Chris Gayle with 98 sixes and Jacques Kallis with 97 – each hit well over 1,000 fours, with 8.6 per cent of Gayle’s boundaries being sixes and only 6.1 per cent for Kallis.

Stokes hits a six every 85 balls on average in Tests, behind only Gilchrist’s 68 balls among that leading group.

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