Ben Stokes is the backbone of Rajasthan Royals, and if the team is to qualify for the playoffs, he will have a crucial role in it. In the last match against Mumbai Indians, he smashed a brilliant ton, to keep his team alive in the tournament.
Speaking to ANI, Stokes threw light on opening the batting, having one of the best foreign contingent in the competition, adapting to the bubble and most importantly focusing on the process rather than just results.
After failing in the first few games as an opener, he came back strongly and silenced his critics. To this he said, "Yeah, I'm really enjoying this new role. I'd had conversations with Macca really long ago now, the IPL usually happens earlier in the year, so we had discussions even before that. I'm really enjoying the new role. It's something that I've sort of always wanted to slowly and gradually get into.
"In the England team, it's very tough with the amount of quality of batsmen we've got, like Jason Roy, Tom Banton, Jonny Bairstow, Alex Hales and all these guys who're all opening batsmen, so it's a very hard place to get into. So yeah, really enjoying the opportunity and responsibility I've been given here at the Royals," he said.
"Having the backing from people making decisions is obviously a big help. Played a lot of cricket and I understand myself as a person now and don't let it get me down too much. The saying you are as good as your next game is brilliant. Whether you do well or badly, you still got to focus on the next game. If you do well one game doesn't mean you will do well the next game," he explained.
David Miller hasn't gotten a game till now, and Stokes said, that just speaks volumes of the talent pool that Rajasthan has.
"I think that proves that the squad we have got, just the depth and the versatility we have got is incredible when someone like David Miller has played one game this year. He is one of the most destructive batters in the world and would play in any other IPL team. He has got a great T20 record and can hurt teams.
"We haven't performed to the potential we have and we know that as a group. We have shown that in phases in the tournament and haven't been able to do it on a consistent basis. That is what the best teams are able to. We are a young team and every year I have come back, things are improving and things are going the right way with RR. Who knows next year or year after that might be our year," he pointed.