Rajasthan Royals all-rounder Rahul Tewatia on Sunday said that the presence of England all-rounder Ben Stokes is a morale booster for the team after leading the team to a much-needed IPL win, reported AFP.

RR ended a four-match losing streak after beating Sunrisers Hyderabad by five wickets in Stokes’ season debut in Dubai. RR was reduced to 78-5 in their chase of 159 with Stokes, skipper Steve Smith and Jos Buttler back in the pavilion when Tewatia, who smashed 45, and Riyan Parag, hitting 42, put on an unbeaten stand of 85.

Tewatia said, “Our top order is very strong. It didn’t click from the last two-three matches but we trust them as they are top class players. Obviously when Ben Stokes come into the team, he is the world’s best all-rounder, the team’s morale goes up.” 

He added, “His presence on the field matters for us. (With) his intensity on the ground and (as) he takes all (the players) along, it fills the team with confidence.”

Stokes reached the United Arab Emirates last week after spending time in Christchurch with his father, who has been battling cancer, since pulling out of the Pakistan Test series in August and therefore had to spend six days in quarantine. He was made to open the innings but he was bowled in the second over off Khaleel Ahmed who took two wickets.

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Tewatia, who starred in RR’s record IPL chase of 224 against KXIP, once again came good at number seven as smashed an unbeaten 45. 

RR skipper Steve Smith said, “I thought Rahul and Riyan as a young kid showed great composure. Stokesy obviously didn’t come off tonight. Our top four didn’t fire, but today showed our depth. With Stokesy back it brings a nice balance to us.”