In the last two years, Stokes has made pressure his personal toy. He has constructed moments of sporting history so architecturally sound that they form two of three man-made structures visible from outer space. His performances on the field, marked by “that” World Cup Final and “that” Headingley Test, have reclaimed the romance of international cricket.
Players like Gayle and de Villiers represent the fast-fading soul of T20 cricket - the flashes of genius, the parody of patience, the ripping of rulebooks, the measured mayhem. They might never be as functional as the Kohlis and Rahuls, but their batting is born from the intoxicating marriage of dominance and dysfunction.