Billed as one of the best all-rounders in world cricket, Ben Stokes has failed miserably to live up to the expectations in the ongoing edition of Indian Premier League (IPL). The 26-year old is struggling to perform with both bat and ball for his franchise Rajasthan Royals. After being bought for a whopping amount of Rs 12.5 Cr by Royals, Stokes was expected to continue his scintillating form of last season when he played for Rising Pune Supergiants.
In the 2017 edition of IPL, the Christchurch-born cricketer scored 316 runs with the strike rate of 142.98 in 11 innings. He also picked up 12 wickets last year for Supergiant which makes him the most expensive player of this year's player auction. However, Stokes stats this year doesn't really reflect his worth as a player, he has scored 185 runs in 11 innings and snared 3 wickets for Royals
Rajasthan Royal team management is still backing him and their mentor Shane Warne promoted him as an opener in the last match against Chennai Super Kings. But, the English all-rounder failed to leave an impact and scored just 11 runs.
Off the pitch Stokes had a very controversial last year when he was charged with affray following an incident in Bristol last September, costing him a place on England's Ashes tour of Australia. The player has pleaded not guilty and will face trial in August. So this IPL was the biggest opportunity to silent his critics but with only a few matches left in the season, things are not going for him now on the pitch and off pitch both.
Stokes form will be crucial for Rajasthan Royals as they have to will all of their remaining matches to qualify for the playoffs. As the tournament enters its business end, Stokes has to lift his game as soon as possible to change the fortunes of his team to shed the moniker of 'biggest flop' in IPL history.