Stokes reveals self-doubt after Newlands knock


England all-rounder Ben Stokes has revealed that he often struggles with nerves and self-doubt before going out to bat, and that after his huge innings in Cape Town, he didn't think he had more runs in him.

Stokes went on to score a half ton at the Wonderers to help England win, but he told former England skipper Michael Vaughan in the Telegraph that it came as a surprise to him. He expected to fail.

Stokes explained: "This is the best form I have ever been in in my career but I was really nervous here because I'd had such a great week in Cape Town.

"I was thinking I wouldn't have such a good week this week. It is a stupid thing to go through your head but as I was going out to bat I was thinking 'I probably won't do well this week, that surely it can't happen again, I can't get another good score'.

"Normally I don't have a run of good scores. It is usually a run of low scores. I think three or four games is the longest I have had being consistent.

"It has always been the same. As I have gone up in levels I have always thought 'I'm not good enough'. I remember my first game for Durham I was petrified. My first game for Cumbria I was sick after lunch because of the nerves.

"Sometimes I can't believe I have hit a good shot. In Joburg I hit Morkel over his head for four. It just happened. I was in an attacking mindset.

"I played the shot and then thought ‘oh God, how did that happen?. Did I do that?’. I did not mean to take it on. I was just throwing my hands at everything."

Stokes went on to praise the way coaches Trevor Bayliss and Paul Farbrace manage him as a person, as they know he's not one for long talks or technical analysis. He said they treated each player according to their personalities, rather than the team as a homogenous unit.

The Durham man added: "I am not a massive watcher of footage. I'm not a good listener in a team talk that lasts more than 15 minutes. I find it very hard to concentrate. I can concentrate for four or five hours in the middle because I enjoy it.

"But I don't enjoy sitting down, listening to someone else talk. It is boring and I am back at school. I know we have to have meetings and I try to concentrate as much as I can because I know people are only trying to help me but I find it hard to do.

"Trevor knows 100 per cent he has a 15-minute window with me. Farby laughs all the time after we have had a chat. He says you were looking at the roof at one point, then the floor, your eyes were shut and then you had a yawn. It is just hard to concentrate.

"But Farby and Trevor have completely changed the way we think about playing cricket. There used to be so many theories and ideas going into it and we got drawn away from the way we played for our counties which is what got us playing for England in the first place.

"If you look at Cooky, OK, he has not been at his best with the bat here in South Africa, but last year he was amazing, scoring hundreds, double hundreds and captained really well.

"[The new culture] has changed him as a person. He does not seem to be as worried or stressed, even when we have had a bad day. The change in him has been impressive."