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England all-rounder Ben Stokes has admitted that he has constantly dealt with nerves and self-doubt throughout his career.
Stokes admitted that these feelings have haunted him ever since he started playing county cricket for Durham and even way back when he was representing Cumbria.
“As I have gone up in levels, I have always thought I’m not good enough,” Stokes told the Daily Telegraph. “I remember my first game for Durham, I was petrified. My first game for Cumbria, I was sick after lunch because of the nerves.”
Stokes recently scored a memorable 258 in the second Test against South Africa in Cape Town, which launched him into the record books as he made the fastest double century by an England player and the second-fastest by any cricketer in Test history.
During his magical knock, Stokes unleashed some eye-popping and jaw-dropping strokes that left everyone in awe. However, the 24-year-old conceded that he himself cannot explain how he played all those shots and went on to rewrite history.
“Sometimes I can’t believe I have hit a good shot,” he said. “In Joburg, I hit (Morne) Morkel over his head for four. It just happened.
“I played the shot and then thought ‘oh God, how did that happen? Did I do that?'”
England hold an unassailable 2-0 lead heading into the fourth and final Test in Centurion and Stokes believes that head coach Trevor Bayliss and assistant coach Paul Farbrace deserve all the credit.
“Farby [Farbrace] and Trevor [Bayliss] have completely changed the way we think about playing cricket,” he said. “There used to be so many theories and ideas going into it – and we got drawn away from the way we played for our counties, which is what got us playing for England in the first place.”