BEEFY'S RIGHT, STOKES IS BEST WE'VE EVER HAD
The Cricket Paper|August 23, 2020
A crack of Ben Stokes’ bat on the ball; a nanosecond of hush, an eruption of noise from the Headingley crowd almost matched by a roar from the man himself and the completion of England’s highest run chase in Test cricket in one of the greatest matches ever played, let alone in an Ashes series.
PETER HAYTER

For those who lived those sights and sounds the memories can never die, but anyone experiencing particularly vivid flashbacks this coming Tuesday, August 25, need not adjust their set because it will mark the anniversary of the day we are still trying to believe actually happened, the day Stokes made the seemingly impossible come to pass and, in the process, confirmed his status as the best cricketer in the world.

Debate over whether his unbeaten 135 to haul England past their victory target of 359 by one wicket in the third Test against Australia also meant he should be considered England’s best ever has continued ever since.

Among those who had the privilege of watching both of these supermen in their prime, aside from the rider/ cop-out that such comparisons are worthless because you cannot fairly judge performances against different opponents during different eras and in different contexts, there has been a consensus of sorts.

It boiled down to the judgment that Ian Botham was better with the ball, Stokes better with the bat, while in the field, both could pluck swifts from the sky.

Therefore, as all-round cricketers, they should not be separated The figures support that assessment too.

In 102 Tests, Botham scored 5,200 runs at 33.55, with 22 50s and 14 hundred and took 383 wickets at 28.4 with 27 five-fors and ten wickets in a match four times.

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