England star Stokes: I've never felt good enough


Ben Stokes believes he is in the form of his life, but the England all-rounder says he "never felt good enough" as he climbed up the cricket ranks.

The Durham star has been one of the standout performers for England in the current Test series against South Africa and hit the second-fastest double century in the second encounter in Cape Town.

Stokes also made 58 as part of a crucial 111-run stand with Joe Root in the first innings in Johannesburg last week, as England claimed a dominant seven-wicket win to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the four-match series with one to play.

The 24-year-old is fast becoming a poster boy for English cricket having also starred in the successful Ashes series last year, but Stokes admits that, despite his confident demeanour on the pitch, he struggles with nerves.

"This is the best form I have ever been in in my career but I was really nervous here [in Johannesburg] because I'd had such a great week in Cape Town," he told The Telegraph. 

"I was thinking I wouldn't have such a good week this week. It is a stupid thing to go through your head but as I was going out to bat I was thinking I probably won't do well this week, that surely it can't happen again, I can't get another good score.

"Normally I don't have a run of good scores. It is usually a run of low scores. I think three or four games is the longest I have had being consistent.

"It has always been the same. As I have gone up in levels I have always thought I'm not good enough. I remember my first game for Durham I was petrified. My first game for Cumbria I was sick after lunch because of the nerves.

"Sometimes I can't believe I have hit a good shot. In Joburg I hit [Morne] Morkel over his head for four. It just happened. I was in an attacking mindset. I played the shot and then thought 'oh God, how did that happen? Did I do that?'.

"I did not mean to take it on. I was just throwing my hands at everything."

Stokes' double century in Cape Town was the quickest by an England player, surpassing the previous record of Ian Botham.

Former captain Botham stated that Stokes can dominate English cricket for years to come, but the man himself is keen to temper expectations.

"All I can say is he must have been drunk or hungover when he said that," Stokes added. "I don't think about how I am going to go about it. I try and bat and bowl the same way in every game."