There may be doubts as to where Ben Stokes should be placed in the batting order for England, but there are no doubts as to his status as the best outfield player after an incredible sporting performance in Canberra.
Stokes defended a total of 178 runs and was called into action when Australia’s Mitchell Marsh shot a shot from Sam Curran over his head, the ball seemingly destined to go past the limit.
However, Stokes had other ideas. With the ball flying over his shoulder, the all-rounder threw in an arm and hooked the ball back into play, preventing a maximum score.
Marsh’s face, walking between the wickets with partner Marcus Stoinis, was a picture of amazement at the stunning acrobatics displayed by England’s Test captain on Wednesday.
Marsh wasn’t alone in his disbelief, with fans taking to Twitter to praise the 31-year-old’s performance.
“Stokes you’re a freak,” one fan posted. Another said, “Ben Stokes is unreal. The fielding is mental.’
“Stokes is just ridiculous,” added a third. “Ben Stokes, the fielder, is really something else,” said another.
“That’s absurd from Ben Stokes. Totally ridiculous. (Most) human bodies don’t work that way,” added a fifth.
Another fan explained how Stoke’s field strength means he is capable of ‘magic’ moments for England.
“I’d have Stokes by my side for stuff like that. Couldn’t do the whole tournament and then with a little magic win us a game.’