England all-rounder Ben Stokes has insisted he is willing to bowl at the ‘death’ again despite being struck for four sixes in the last over of the World Twenty20 final defeat by the West Indies.
With the West Indies needing 19 off the final six balls of last Sunday’s tournament climax in Kolkata, England were strong favourites for victory.
But powerful batsman Carlos Brathwaite made a mockery of the match position by sending four successive Stokes deliveries soaring into the stands, a total of 24 runs, as West Indies won with two balls to spare.
It was a chastening experience for Stokes and one which the Durham fast-medium bowler said had left him feeling “completely devastated”.
Nevertheless, asked if he would bowl at the ‘death’ again in a major match, Stokes told Friday’s Daily Telegraph: “A hundred percent. Definitely. It is something I work at a lot. Some days they go well. Some days they don’t. That was a bad day but I won’t be shying away from it.”
Nor did he hide from the emotions he felt at the end of an extraordinary see-saw match.
“I thought, ‘I’ve just lost the World Cup’. I couldn’t believe it,” he said. “I didn’t know what to do. It took me so long to get back on my feet. I didn’t want to get back up.
“It was like the whole world had come down on me. There weren’t any good things going through my mind. It was just complete devastation.”
Stokes though made it clear he was determined to emerge stronger from a painful experience.
“Setbacks make you want to be better again,” he said. “This will be in my mind for quite a long time and I will reflect on it for a long time,” the 24-year-old added.
“It will be a little bit of motivation to make sure this does not ever happen again. So train 10 minutes longer every now and again to get better.”
Meanwhile Stokes also paid tribute to Brathwaite’s remarkable ball-striking, insisting he had no regrets about his decision to bowl yorkers despite being way off target with his first ball of the last over, which went down the legside.
“It was amazing hitting. I just did not execute what I wanted to do,” he said.
“I have wondered if it would have been different if I had gone four slower balls into the deck, but they could have been hit for four sixes and then I would have thought why didn’t I go for four yorkers?
“I know that I can run up and hit my yorkers nine out of 10 times so I am not going to look back and wish I had changed anything.”