Did he? Didn’t he? Was it intentional? Was it reflex?
It’s impossible to know Stokes’ full intention when he got his arm in the way of the ball, but slowing it down to watch him move is not the right way of doing it. It’s like watching someone fire a machine gun in slow motion and thinking the person was accurately firing at a target rather than blindly shooting in a general direction.
The more you watch the replays in slow motion, the more it looks out. The more you watch it in full speed, the more unsure you become. If a big man picks up a ball and throws it in your general direction from halfway down the pitch, you have no idea if it’s coming to hit you or not. You react. It looks so deliberate in slow motion. The ball almost sticks in his hand as if he knew exactly where it was going. The third umpire did not even ask to see it at full speed. Both on-field umpires were unsure about what happened but the third umpire had made his decision on what turned out to be only the 7th case of on-field obstruction within seconds.
Regardless of the result, Stokes reacted in a very mature way to the decision. For a man who had punched a locker after getting out, this was a sure sign of growth.
What drama will the third ODI bring?