Will Ben Stokes open the batting: The English all-rounder was made to open the batting in his first IPL 2020 match for Rajasthan Royals.
During the 30th match of the ongoing 13th season of the Indian Premier League between Delhi Capitals and Rajasthan Royals in Dubai, Delhi Capitals captain Shreyas Iyer has won the toss and chose to bat.
In what is the only change among both the teams, Delhi handed a debut to Mumbai pacer Tushar Deshpande in place of Haryana all-rounder Harshal Patel.
Coming on the back of a nerve-wrecking victory against Sunrisers Hyderabad, Rajasthan Royals captain Steven Smith laid emphasis on wanting to bat first.
“I was gonna bat as well. Hopefully we can bowl well, restrict them and chase it later on. It’s obviously used wicket and hopefully we will put some pressure with the ball. We are playing the same team,” Smith said during the toss.
Will Ben Stokes open the batting for Rajasthan Royals vs Delhi Capitals?
Royals, who were bolstered by the presence of England all-rounder Ben Stokes in the match against Sunrisers, had surprised one and all by sending him to open the batting alongside wicket-keeper batsman Jos Buttler.
While the move didn’t reap fruits as Stokes (5) played on to a Khaleel Ahmed delivery in the second over, Smith confirmed that they will back the Englishman to open the batting tonight as well.
— Dixit Bhargav (@dixitbhargav09) October 11, 2020
Out of Stokes’ 124 T20s, he has opened the batting on just six occasions. Having faced the new ball for the first time in a T20 in a Royals vs Chennai Super Kings IPL 2018 match, the southpaw went on to open for Durham Dynamos in four matches the same year.
In six T20s as an opening batsman, Stokes has scored 193 runs at an average of 38.6 and a strike rate of 136.87 including a highest score of 90* against Yorkshire.
It is worth mentioning that Smith himself hadn’t opened the batting ever in his 191 T20s before doing so in IPL 2020. As recent as yesterday, Super Kings opened the batting with another unusual option in England’s Sam Curran.