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England captain Alistair Cook has hailed the competitive spirit of Ben Stokes after the Durham man produced a magnificent all-round performance in the 57-run One Day International win over Australia at the WACA, Perth.
It was England’s first win of the tour, and a relieved Cook was quick to sing the praises of the flame-haired left-hander who built on his Ashes achievements with a quick fire 70 and four wickets.
“He likes playing at the WACA, doesn’t he?” a relieved Cook told Sky Sports at the close of play. “He got a hundred and six-for in the Test Match and then a 70 and four-for today.
“He’s an outstanding cricketer, still quite raw obviously, but what he does do is compete for every single ball right until the end.”
Cook has endured a torrid time as skipper of a team well beaten in every department since they arrived Down Under. So Friday’s win was the source of much satisfaction. “It’s been a while since we had this feeling.
A couple of dropped catches near the end just made us wait that little bit longer, but all-in-all it was a pleasing performance for us.
“When you see people perform the way they did today, you know you’re not a bad side.”
Victory at the WACA and again in the 5th and final ODI would increase the chances of Cook keeping the captaincy. Team-mate Ravi Bopara thinks he should retain the role, describing him ‘as the best man for the job.’