T20 World Cup 2022: “We are a team that likes to focus more on ourselves”

England all-rounder Ben Stokes has admitted that they will be up against a very strong opposition in India during the second semi-final of the T20 World Cup 2022. He, however, stated that England are a team that like to focus more on themselves than the opposition.

India and England will clash in the second semi-final of the T20 World Cup at the Adelaide Oval on Thursday, November 10. The Men in Blue topped Group 2 with eight points, winning four of their five Super 12 matches. On the other hand, England finished second in Group 1, registering victories over Afghanistan, New Zealand and Sri Lanka.

At a press conference on Tuesday, Stokes was asked for his views on facing Team India in the knockout clash of the T20 World Cup 2022. He replied:

“We know we need to get this game done on Thursday against a very strong Indian team, which obviously no one will ever take lightly because of the players that they have in their squad. But we are a team that likes to focus more on ourselves than try and think about the opposition.”

Both India and England have won the T20 World Cup once each. While the Men in Blue emerged triumphant in the inaugural edition in 2007, the Englishmen were champions in 2010.

“I hope so” – Ben Stokes on whether he still has some magic left in him

Being one of the senior members of the team, there are high hopes from Stokes going into the semi-final against India. However, the 31-year-old has not had a great time in the tournament either with the bat or ball.

Asked if he is hopeful of producing some magic on Thursday, the all-rounder asserted:

“I hope so, because we’ve got two more games now to hopefully be a part of and hopefully lift the trophy at the end.”

Stokes was the Player of the Match in the 2019 ODI World Cup final at Lord’s when England defeated New Zealand on boundary count.

The 31-year-old also opened up on his crucial knock in the 42* in the must-win Super 12 match against Sri Lanka in Sydney. Chasing 142 to book a place in the semis, England lost half their side for 111.

However, Stokes guided the team to victory with a defiant innings. Asked about the performance, he explained:

“Just chilled. Knew what I had to do. I assessed pretty early that I was going to try my hardest to be there at the end. The situation itself wasn’t too much of an ask. It was basically just a run-a-ball, but the wicket was slowing up. So I assessed and decided that I’ll be there till the end.”

After Moeen Ali was dismissed for 1, Stokes and Sam Curran (4) added a handy 18 runs for the sixth wicket. Chris Woakes then hit the winning runs off the last over, smashing a short and wide delivery from Lahiru Kumara to the boundary.

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Edited by Renin Wilben Albert