England coach Trevor Bayliss has backed Ben Stokes to bounce back after being hit for four sixes by Carlos Brathwaite in the final over of the ICC T20 World Cup 2016, claiming he is the "heart and soul of the team".
Stokes, who is one of the key death bowlers for England, was widely expected to defend 19 runs that West Indies needed off the last over. However, Brathwaite had other ideas, depositing the first four balls into the stands and taking the West Indies team to their second ICC T20 World Cup title.
Over the last 12 months, Stokes has become a key member of England's side, coming up with match-winning performances against New Zealand, Australia and South Africa before the World T20. Bayliss is sure that he would put his hand up if he had to deliver again in a similar final-over situation.
"He is one of those blokes — if we had a game tomorrow, he'd put his hand up to bowl the last over again. No one is blaming Stokesy for anything, to be honest he is the heart and soul of the team," Bayliss was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo.com.
"If everyone put in half as much as Stokesy does, we'd go a long way. You can't fault Ben's leadership in the team or the effort he puts in. It doesn't matter whether he is batting, bowling or fielding, he gives you 100% until there is nothing in the tank. The more of those type of cricketers we can produce, the better for England cricket.
"Obviously the final was disappointing but I'm extremely proud of the way they played through this last few weeks. As long as we keep playing good cricket and someone has to do something remarkable to beat us, we'll win a lot of games," he added.
England are next scheduled to play Sri Lanka in a three-match Test series, the first of which starts on May 19. The Test squad will see a change in personnel, with Alastair Cook set to lead the team.