‘Stokes could be England’s best’

Andrew Flintoff reckons England all-rounder Ben Stokes could be the country’s best all-rounder after his positive contributions during their tour in India and Bangladesh.

Known as an explosive batsman, Stokes showcased that he can also be patient as he handled himself well against spin-friendly surfaces, scoring 128 in Rajkot against India.

“He’s a proper batsman. He’s got the power but he’s also got the finesse,” Flintoff told Standard Sport.

“He could be England’s best ever all-rounder, not just better than me. Better than all of them.”

The former England cricketer was in awe of the 25-year-old when he scored the second fastest double ton in history against South Africa, but added that his bowling does need some attention.

“[Stokes] can perform on anything, he scored that double hundred in South Africa. He performed against the Aussies, and we’re going to see him getting better and better,” the 38-year-old said.

“His bowling will keep improving — I think he’ll always be a batsman who bowls rather than the other way round — but when he’s got the ball in his hands, something happens.”

Going forward, Flintoff believes that Stokes is a match winner for England and he will have to cope with a tremendous amount of pressure.

“There’s going to be a lot of pressure on him because everyone will look to Ben to turn games and he will fail from time to time,” Flintoff concluded.

“He’ll fail quite a bit, but you’ve just got to go with that because what he will give you at times, he will genuinely win a match nearly on his own.”