'He never realised his potential in IPL': CSK legend's enormous Ben Stokes claim ahead of IPL 2023
Ahead of the start of IPL 2023, former CSK batter made an enormous claim on Stokes.
Chennai Super Kings had made a massive call in letting go of veteran cricketer Dwayne Bravo ahead of the 2023 season of the Indian Premier League. But they acquired England all-rounder Ben Stokes, their biggest signing at the mini-auction last December, for INR 16.25 crore with the hope that he would provide that perfect balance to the playing XI and help CSK bounce back from the forgettable 2022 season where they had finished ninth in the table. However, ahead of the start of IPL 2023, former CSK batter Matthew Hayden made an enormous claim on Stokes.
Stokes had opted out of IPL 2022 to prioritise Test cricket after England's Ashes debacle. In 2021, he had incurred an injury in the first leg of the season and later did not return for the UAE leg owing to his break from the sport with mental health reasons. His last full season of IPL was in 2018, which was only his second appearance in the league after having made his debut in 2017 in presently-defunct Rising Pune Supergiants, which also had MS Dhoni.
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Overall, in 43 matches in IPL, Stokes managed 920 runs at just 25.55 with two tons and two fifties. He also picked 28 wickets at an economy rate of 8.55.
Speaking to Star Sports, Hayden opined that Stokes never realised his potential in IPL ever, but backed the all-rounder to emerge as an 'X factor' in 2023 season under the CSK regime of cricket.
"Stokes will be the X factor for CSK who has never realised his potential in the IPL and he is one of those players and we him him play all over the world. Now, under a CSK regime where it's all about cricket I think that he's got a big chance to be the X factor this season," he said.
Hayden however snubbed both Stokes and captain Dhoni to be Chennai's 'trump card' this season. He feels with Ravindra Jadeja at the "best of his best", CSK will reap benefits out of it.
"For me the player to watch out for is always Jadeja. He is a quality all-rounder. CSK have got some world-class all-rounders, including who they've signed now - Ben Stokes. But with Jaddu at the best of his best, he can really drive a great outcome for CSK, this season," he added.