Ben Stokes believes Harry Brook can emulate Virat Kohli’s all-format batting dominance after the England youngster again impressed in Pakistan.
Yorkshire batter Brook played a key role as England secured a first Test series victory in Pakistan in 22 years after a nail-biting 26-run victory in Multan on Monday.
The 23-year-old managed only nine runs in the first innings but responded with 109 in the second – the only century of the second Test – to help England to an unassailable 2-0 series lead.
That form comes as no surprise given Brook blasted 153 and 87 in Rawalpindi, with his red-ball international average sitting at an impressive 73.8 from his five innings.
Yet Stokes believes this is only the start for Brook, who he expects to shine across all formats of cricket as he compared the England batter to India great Kohli.
“After the summer he had last year, getting all the big-ups before he made his debut, to come here and put in that kind of performance again was just phenomenal,” Stokes told Sky Sports.
“He’s one of those rare players that you look across all formats and you can just see him being successful everywhere.
“It’s a massive shout, but Virat Kohli is one of those guys where his technique is just so simple and works everywhere. The pressure that he puts back onto opposition is exactly what we’re about.”
Brook accumulated just 56 runs, averaging just 11.2 across six innings, as England lifted their second T20 World Cup in Australia.
The middle-order batter has impressed in the shortest format for England in his 20 outings, though, with the expectation he will slot into Jos Buttler’s side for the 50-over Cricket World Cup in India in 2023.
Stokes does not foresee the pressure impacting the form of Brook, given the comfortable manner in which he stepped into the Test side.
“The expectation on his shoulders coming into this team, because of how good he’s been for Yorkshire, was obviously huge,” he said.
“But I think that just shows that kind of stuff doesn’t really affect him. He’s a player whose technique is suited to all three formats, he wants to always look to be putting pressure back onto the opposition, and he’s won another game for England.
“[He made a] huge contribution last week, and the hundred he scored here was obviously massive for us in getting that big lead.
“He’s a pretty simple lad to captain: he just gets about his business, loves his batting, wants to constantly improve, constantly work on it. He’s a pretty easy bloke to have in your dressing room.”
Jonny Bairstow’s injury offered Brook the chance to take the number-five role for Stokes, with the England Test captain acknowledging he is fortunate to have a wealth of batting talent to call upon.
“We’re very, very lucky with the way in which we can replace Jonny, to have Harry coming in, because those two, batting No.5, they both go about it in exactly the same way,” he added.
“They bring so much to the team and obviously Harry playing the way he has done at the moment with Jonny not being in the team, unfortunately, it’s the best thing you want.
“You want competition for places, you want a strong squad to be able to pick from, and you want those headaches when it comes to the final XI every week, rather than saying ‘I’m not sure who we’re going to pick, let’s pick a name out of the hat.’
“We’re definitely not in that situation, and we feel like we’ve got all bases covered at the moment.”
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