Former head coach Chris Silverwood is backing Ben Stokes to take England all the way in the World Cup after his heroic display in a thrilling last over in their four-wicket win against Sri Lanka
- Former England coach Chris Silverwood has paid tribute to batsman Ben Stokes
- Stokes saved England’s World Cup with an unbeaten 42 in their Sri Lanka win
- Silverwood has backed Stokes to take England all the way in the tournament
A familiar face paid tribute to Ben Stokes yesterday after he saved England’s World Cup with an unbeaten 42 in a nerve-racking last over four-wicket win against Sri Lanka here.
Chris Silverwood, sacked as England coach on his last visit to Australia at the end of another Ashes debacle, has been rebuilding his career impressively with Sri Lanka and saw them almost pull off a big upset against his old charges at the SCG.
But then Silverwood backed Stokes to take England all the way in their attempt to unite both the 50-over and Twenty20 world titles as they get ready for their semi-final in Adelaide on Thursday, probably against India.
Former England coach Chris Silverwood (left) has paid tribute to batsman Ben Stokes (right)
Stokes saved England’s World Cup with an unbeaten 42 in the last over of win against Sri Lanka
‘Ben has been the talisman over the last few years and getting the team over the line here will do him the world of good in terms of confidence,’ said Silverwood.
‘It’s all about peaking at the right time so watch this space. You can never rule him out, can you.’
Silverwood has been keen not to talk about his sacking by England here this week and was diplomacy personified again when he was asked if he had found himself in a weird situation on the Sri Lanka bench.
Silverwood (pictured) is backing Stokes to take England’s all the way in the World Cup
‘To me it was just another game and that’s how I viewed it,’ he said. ‘It was nice to catch up with some familiar faces and I’ve still got a lot of friends in the England camp. But today was about trying to win with Sri Lanka and watching our team continue to progress.
‘You have to say Ben had it under control for them. Maybe if we’d nicked him and got one more wicket it might have made things very interesting.’
And Silverwood was asked if it was nice to see Australia crash out of their own tournament after the pain he suffered here last winter.
‘I don’t feel anything to be honest,’ he insisted. ‘It’s not my concern. Anything can happen at this stage but obviously I wish England all the luck. But it’s who turns up on the day now will win this.’
England captain Jos Buttler insisted there were no doubts about Ben Stokes place in this T20 team even though he has struggled for fluency with the bat here on his return to the short-form side.
England captain Jos Buttler says there were no doubts about Ben Stokes place in the T20 team
‘There’s never been any questioning of him in our group,’ said Buttler. ‘He’s a proper match-winner and he showed that in a different way today.’
England are sweating on the fitness of Dawid Malan, who tweaked his left groin in the field and was did not bat, even though he was padded up at the end to come in next if needed.
If he is not fit for Thursday England could bring one of their three travelling reserves into the squad, most probably Liam Dawson, but could even recruit one of their batters who are due to arrive here on Tuesday for the three one-day internationals that conclude this tour. In that case James Vince or even Jason Roy could be in the frame.
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