Simmons: Stokes is in the same mould as Kallis


England allrounder Ben Stokes has been praised by West Indies coach Phil Simmons who compared him to South Africa's legendary cricketer Jacques Kallis, high praise indeed.

Stokes burst onto the scene in the 2013/2014 Ashes series when, in the third Test in Perth, he hit a century under extreme pressure and against a fiery Mitchell Johnson. He also took six for 99 in the same series to underline his potential with the ball.

England went on to lose the series five-nil but one of the few positives to come of that tour was the emergence of a true allrounder that could carry England for more than a decade.

The 23 year-old Stokes suffered a loss of form in 2014, with both bat and ball, and was dropped by the selectors but seems to have rediscovered his class to be selected for the current three-match Test series in the West Indies.

He has performed well enough in the first two matches, hitting a quick-fire half century in the first Test and bowling with zest and aggression throughout.

That is why opposition coach Simmons is so impressed, even grouping him with a certain Mr Kallis who scored more than 13000 runs and took 292 wickets in 166 Tests for the Proteas.

Simmons said: "I wish I had him at No. 6. He's in the mould of Jacques Kallis. He can take a game away with you with bat or ball. His bowling allows Jimmy Anderson to come back fresh and that's a big thing.

"He's the glue that holds the England team together. His bowling allows Jimmy Anderson to come back fresh and that's a big thing. He showed his quality in Australia.

"He took them on and he scored a hundred. I've been impressed with him since then. That's the kind of cricketer you need."