IPL Auction 2017: Rising Pune Supergiants have signed the English all-rounder Ben Stokes for Rs 14.5 crores in the IPL Player Auction. Filling in the big boots of legends like Ian Botham and Andrew Flintoff is not an easy job but that’s exactly the task 25-year-old New Zealand born fast-bowling all-rounder Ben Stokes faced. A three-dimensional player who can contribute in all departments of the game, Stoke made his first-class debut at the age of 17 years for Durham. He had the pressure of doing justice to his talent but responded brilliantly as he dismissed the experienced Mark Ramprakash off just his third delivery in professional cricket. Few good performances were good enough to earn Ben Stokes a place in England’s 2010 Under-19 World Cup team which was led by the new Test captain Joe Root. His match-winning abilities were visible when he scored a century against India U-19 team in that tournament that included names like KL Rahul, Mandeep Singh and Sandeep Sharma.
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He made his ODI debut in 2011 against Ireland but didn’t have a very good start to his career. Poor record combined with an injury and to make matters worse, he was sent home early on England Lions tour of Australia in February 2013 on the grounds of indiscipline.
However, Stokes fought his way back into the national side and made his Test debut two years later in 2013-14 Ashes series in Australia. Even though, England lost that series 5-0, they had found a new star in Ben Stokes.
Since then, he has been a terrific performer across all formats and had an excellent T20 World Cup last year in India before Carlos Brathwaite smoked him for 4 sixes in the final over leading to a heartbreak.
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With a strike rate of about 135 and a bowling average of 36 in T20s, Ben Stokes is certainly going to be a big threat for the opposition teams in IPL 10.