James Anderson backs England team-mate Ben Stokes over World T20 heartbreak

England’s all-time leading wicket-taker James Anderson believes Ben Stokes will bounce back from his World T20 Final disappointment and insists his team-mate doesn’t deserve any criticism.

Anderson watched from home as Stokes failed to prevent the West Indies getting the 19 runs required off the last over and was smacked for four successive sixes by Carlos Brathwaite.

The Lancashire seamer says what happened to the Durham all-rounder is just part of the T20 game and believes Stokes will bounce back stronger when faced with the same situation again.

“Unfortunately for Stokesy that’s just T20,” Anderson said at Lancashire’s pre-season media day.

“You don’t want it to happen in a final but it does happen in T20.

“You can’t criticise him too much, His first ball was a poor one but the other three were just inches away from perfect Yorkers so you’ve just got to hold your hands up and say it’s brilliant batting as well.

“I think if it was the other way round and it was Jos Buttler smacking them out the ground, we would be focusing on Jos’ brilliance rather than poor bowling so we have to cut Stokesy a bit of slack there.

“When he comes to that situation again he will learn from the experience. He’s a tough lad, a solid bloke and he will bounce back stronger.”

Anderson is now purely used by England as a Test match bowler, meaning he now watches the limited-overs formats simply as a supporter.

The 33-year-old opening bowler expressed his pride in what the team had achieved by making the final at the World T20 in India, while saying how much he is looking forward to getting back into the action himself.

“The T20 was heart-breaking, there’s not a lot else you can say about it,” Anderson said.

“I’m sure they were gutted at the end. From a supporters perspective I felt really proud of the effort.

“The character they showed was fantastic. It was a great effort to get to where they did.

“I’ve got three Championship games with Lancashire. It’s important from my point of view to get some overs in before the Tests start.

“It’s been nice to have a bit of a break, get refreshed, but having been away from the game for a couple of months, watching the T20 on TV I’m excited to get back into it.”

 

Featured Image: Adnan Abidi/Reuters

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