MANCHESTER: Skipper Joe Root believes England are in "in the presence of greatness" and sky is the limit for "Mr Incredible" Ben Stokes after the all-rounder put up another match-winning performance to hand the hosts a series-leveling victory against the West Indies.
Stokes played a dominant role in England's 113-run victory over the West Indies. The all-rounder scored a patient 176 in the first innings and followed it up with a quickfire unbeaten 78 in 57 deliveries in their second to set up a declaration an hour into the final day.
He also chipped in with three wickets, earning him the man of the match award.
"Everyone understands that we are watching a player at the peak of his powers at the peak of world cricket, who is delivering time and time again," Root said after the match.
"We have to savour that, appreciate that and we have to understand that we are - without wanting to pump his tyres too much - in the presence of greatness," he added.
Comparing Stokes to the animated superhero "Mr Incredible", who is known to have super-strength, Root said Stokes' ability to adapt to any situation makes him invaluable to the team.
"He's a genuine all-rounder player, something you don't see much in world cricket. He's someone you can genuinely turn to any time and he'll change you a game.
"He's Mr. Incredible! He probably looks a bit the like the cartoon character, too! He's a similar shape, but probably a bit skinnier than him now. Ben can come in and play through a range of gears and situations - it shows how valuable he is to our team," Root added.
The 29-year-all rounder has been a vital figure in England's success over the past year, be it his World Cup-winning exploits against New Zealand in the final or his unbeaten 135 against Australia in the third Ashes Test, helping the hosts claim a memorable one-wicket win.
"He doesn't surprise me. You watch how he goes about his business in practice whether it be fitness or anything, he leads the way in many respects. The sky is the limit for him. He seems to want to keep getting better and better and we're seeing those results out on the field.
"It's great for a lot of the young guys to see that - you've got to put the hard yards in and he certainly does that. We're starting to see that feed into the rest of the team, which is a great place to be," Root added.
With England winning the second Test, the series stands levelled at 1-1, both teams will head to the third and final match on the same ground on Friday, with West Indies needing just a draw to retain the Wisden trophy.
"I've been round a long time now and I have that understanding of the role models we are. We want to pave the way for England cricketers in 20 years' time. It's not all about the present, it's about taking the cap forward," Stokes said.
"Hopefully that motto - taking the cap forward - is still there in 20 years. We've a duty to win games but also to youngsters who want to aspire to be like us," he added. (PTI)