Ben Stokes delivers “world-class” verdict on Ben Foakes amid talk of Jos Buttler return

England captain Ben Stokes believes Ben Foakes is the “best wicketkeeper in the world”, following his match-winning partnership with Joe Root in the first Test against New Zealand.

Foakes was recalled to the side following the Ashes after Jos Buttler was dropped and made his first crucial contribution with the bat as part of an unbeaten 120-run partnership with Root that won England the match.

The 29-year-old’s place in the side had come under some pressure ahead of the Test after an underwhelming series against the West Indies, with Jonny Bairstow already in the side and England chief Rob Key talking up a potential return to the side for Buttler.

Speaking before the Test began, Key told ‘The Vaughany and Tuffers Cricket Club’ podcast : “I always thought that he [Buttler] could be an outstanding Test match batsman-wicket-keeper. I still think that – and I see no reason why he still couldn’t do that.

“My bet is that McCullum and Stokes can get the best out of all of these people.” However, Stokes has unequivocally backed Foakes as England’s first choice wicketkeeper.

“We’re not in the position to not select world-class players at the moment,” Stokes said. “Ben is the best wicketkeeper in the world.

“That’s not just my own opinion, that’s a lot of people’s opinions. Batting at seven, which he does for England, is different from the role that he plays for Surrey because he bats higher up.





Stokes has unequivocally backed Foakes, despite England chief Rob Key talking up a potential Test return for Jos Buttler


Stokes has unequivocally backed Foakes, despite England chief Rob Key talking up a potential Test return for Jos Buttler

“But that situation of going in last night, for 45 minutes, was a very, very big part in the game, and he handled it very, very well. The way he kept – he took some catches which he made look very easy but they weren’t.

“To have a gloveman like Ben behind the stumps gives me a lot of confidence, and it gives the bowlers a lot of confidence, knowing that nine times out of 10, he’s going to take everything that comes to him.

“He’s only going to get better with the more confidence that he gets, and as I said, he’s the best keeper in the world and it’s great to have him behind the stumps.”

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