London - Ben Stokes thrives on his battles
with some of the sport's most competitive players as it tends to bring out the
best in the feisty England all-rounder, who is hoping to recover quickly from
his nightmare end to the World Twenty20 tournament.
Stokes, who has scored three test
centuries, has clashed with several players over the past year, most notably an
on-going feud with West Indies all-rounder Marlon Samuels.
"I'm always thinking about the private
battle, even in the field. I'm always trying to be better than the other person
I'm against," the 24-year-old told the Times newspaper on Thursday.
"There are guys that you look at and
you want to really bowl at them or bat against them, certain guys who really
get your juices flowing. They tend to be similar characters to me: (Australia
batsman) David Warner, for example.
"I love playing against these guys who
have the same attitude to the game that I have. It's always been there, that
competitive instinct... I just want to win."
By claiming four wickets and five catches
at the World Twenty20 in India, Stokes played a crucial role in England's run to
the final in Kolkata on April 3, especially with his bowling at the death.
However, in the last over against the West
Indies, who needed 19 runs to clinch their second T20 World Cup, Stokes was hit
for four successive sixes by Carlos Brathwaite, ending England's own hopes of a
second triumph in disastrous fashion.
While Stokes admitted he was
"devastated", he also claimed his growing maturity as a player helped
him deal with the situation with a better frame of mind.
"I just sat there with a towel on my
head, utterly devastated. I didn't want to walk out there slumped and beaten
and looking like I felt inside," Stokes said.
"A few years ago, I would have really
tortured myself about that final over. I used to find it so hard to let go, but
I'm a lot better now.
"You can never beat your own mind when
it plays tricks on you. I'm learning to cope a lot better with the bad times