(Reuters) – New Zealand coach Gary Stead hopes Ben Stokes will not produce another batting masterclass against the Black Caps at next month’s World Cup after the England all-rounder’s record-breaking knock at The Oval.
Stokes hammered a 124-ball 182 on Wednesday to record England’s highest individual score in the 50-overs format and drive his team to a rollicking 181-run victory in the third ODI.
Champions England will meet New Zealand in the opener of the one-day World Cup in India on Oct. 5, a repeat of the 2019 final.
Asked whether he was sick of the sight of New Zealand-born Stokes, Stead told reporters he hoped his bowlers had seen the best of him.
“Ben Stokes played an amazing innings, England’s best,” he said.
“That was pretty special to watch.
“I don’t mind Ben Stokes. I’d rather he score them now than on Oct. 5.”
England have taken a 2-1 lead in the see-sawing, four-match series after the teams split the T20 series 2-2.
Though Stokes dominated Wednesday’s match, fast bowler Trent Boult’s form since his return to action has been hugely encouraging for New Zealand.
He took 5-51, removing opener Jonny Bairstow for a duck and Joe Root for four to leave England 13 for two in the third over before Stokes and opener Dawid Malan (96) took over with a 199-run partnership.
The New Zealand spearhead has eight wickets from his two matches in the ODI series.
“It’s great to have Trent back, He brings a lot of energy, a lot of skill,” said Stead.
“It’s just a pity we haven’t been able to capitalise on those starts.”
Stead also played down an injury to spin-bowling all-rounder Mitch Santner, who missed the match with knee soreness after a fielding mishap in the second ODI in Southampton.
“Mitch had a bit of a scan on his knee … But it’s come back positively, which is good for us.
“He’s just got quite a bit of swelling around the knee still which they think is a joint problem. So it’s nothing more than that.”
(Reporting by Ian Ransom in Melbourne; Editing by Peter Rutherford)