T20 World Cup: Ben Stokes backed to ‘come to the fore’ for England

Dates: November 1 Times: 08:00 GMT Venue: Brisbane
Coverage: Ball-by-ball Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 Sports Extra, BBC Sport website & app; live text commentary with clips on the BBC Sport website & app

Ben Stokes has been backed to “come to the fore” in England’s crucial T20 World Cup match against New Zealand by assistant coach Paul Collingwood.

Stokes has a high score of 17 not out in five innings after being recalled to the T20 side following 18 months out.

England play the Black Caps at 08:00 GMT on Tuesday, effectively needing a win to keep their hopes alive.

“The one person you want in your team when the pressure is on is Ben Stokes,” Collingwood said.

“We all know what he’s capable of, and not just match-winning innings, but match-winning innings under serious amounts of pressure.” If it comes down to the crunch, you want a man like Ben Stokes walking out.”

Stokes did not train on Tuesday, having opted to sit out an optional session.

He is understood to be fully fit with England likely to name an unchanged team to face New Zealand.

Stokes, England’s Test captain, has an underwhelming T20 record compared to his talent, averaging 18.57 with the bat with a high score of 47 not out.

But in other formats he has played some of England’s great innings, including in the 2019 Ashes at Headingley and the 50-over World Cup final earlier the same year.

“I’m pretty confident there’s an innings just around the corner, and now we’re coming into the crucial part of the World Cup, it’s almost a knockout stage for us,” Collingwood said.

“It’s must-win games. You always see Ben come to the fore in those situations.”

England have yet to find their best form in Australia, having lost to Ireland and had a game against the hosts washed out since stuttering to a win against Afghanistan in Perth.

After Australia’s win over Ireland on Monday they have dropped to third in Group One, two points behind the hosts, but still hold the advantage of a higher net run-rate.

To progress England will likely have to win both of their remaining games – they play Sri Lanka on Saturday to end the group – and keep their net run-rate better than Australia’s, if Aaron Finch’s also finish with a win over Afghanistan on Friday.

Brisbane has enjoyed hot, sunny weather in recent days but heavy rain is forecast for Tuesday – although it is expected to clear in the afternoon before the match begins at 18:00 local time.

A washout would also leave England needing Australia to either lose, or have their game against Afghanistan wiped out by the weather.

New Zealand, who beat England in last year’s semi-finals, are one of two unbeaten teams in the tournament and have looked typically impressive in another major event.

Runners-up last year after beating England in the semi-final, the Black Caps crushed hosts Australia in the opening game of the Super 12 and on Saturday swept aside Sri Lanka as Glenn Phillips smashed 104 from 64 balls.

“On paper it’s two very skilful sides with a lot of power,” Collingwood said.

“We’re concentrating on ourselves because we know if we get our game right we’re very difficult to beat.”