IPL 2019: We have to treat every game like final, says Ben Stokes

Ben Stokes on Friday said his struggling IPL franchise Rajasthan Royals will now have to “treat every game like a final” if they are to make the playoffs.

Ben Stokes arrives for practice session ahead of Rajasthan's match against Mumbai in Jaipur.   -  PTI Photo

England star all-rounder Ben Stokes on Friday said his struggling IPL franchise Rajasthan Royals will now have to “treat every game like a final” if they are to make the playoffs.

Stokes, who himself has not been in the best of form, said that having lost six of their eight matches, Rajasthan Royals cannot afford to lose anymore.

“Yes, we are in a must-win situation and we have to treat every match as final and which, I guess, puts any sort of negative thought process above our head. We have only one way to go and that is aggressive and positive,” Stokes.

Rajasthan, champion in the inaugural edition, is currently placed seventh in the standings with four points.

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“If you look at most of the games we lost, we have lost at the crucial moments. In T20 games two-three or four balls can dictate the winner, and unfortunately, we have not been the team to win those critical moments.

“But if you lose those moments consistently then you deserve to be where we are. It is unfortunate and disappointing because every player has given his absolute best. It is not lack of effort or lack of commitment.”

Conceding that the death bowling of Rajasthan has been disappointing, Stokes said this was the toughest part of the game.

“It is the most difficult part of the game. You need different skills as bowler and keep working in training. That is why bowlers like Bumrah and Malinga are best bowlers in the world. Unfortunately, we have not been able to get our death bowling quite right.”

Talking about Saturday’s match against Mumbai Indians, Stokes said that they know what needs to be done.

“We know what we have to do. We will try and stay positive. Our performance in last game was disappointing but we are really a good team. We are living in the moment, not looking into the last games, winning or losing. We have to win every game if we want to be in the final.”