England all-rounder Ben Stokes is currently the best player in the world, says former spinner Graeme Swann.
Stokes hit an unbeaten 102 to lead England to a 40-run win on the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method at Edgbaston, which eliminated Australia from the Champions Trophy.
“Of all the moments Stokes has had in an England shirt, this is the finest,” Swann told BBC Test Match Special.
“He looks as good as any player in the world.”
Stokes, 26, has scored two centuries in four ODI innings for England since returning from the IPL, where he was named the competition’s most valuable player.
He hit 13 fours and two sixes en route to his highest ODI score, sharing a thrilling stand of 159 with captain Eoin Morgan after England slipped to 35-3.
Swann, who played 60 Tests and 79 ODIs for England between 2008 and 2013, added: “He’s always had the talent but he’s honed it and become world class. I mean, truly world class.
“Stokes is batting with swagger and an air of arrogance, as if he believes he is one of the world’s best players.”
Stokes brought up his third ODI century shortly before rain ended play early, with England comfortably ahead of the DLS par score.
He told TMS: “No matter what situation we find ourselves in, we keep going at it and backing our game. It’s a great time to be a part of England cricket.
“I had to start again when I got to 70 because if I got out playing a silly shot it wouldn’t have looked too good.”
Morgan, who made a brilliant attacking 87 off 81 deliveries, said: “He took the responsibility and it was a magnificent hundred.”
Australia skipper Steve Smith said: “He’s a class player and he’s in exceptional form at the moment.”
Morgan also acknowledged the contributions of leg-spinner Adil Rashid and seamer Mark Wood, who took 4-41 and 4-33 respectively to limit Australia to 277-9 on a reliable surface.
“It’s a huge asset having Adil bowling like he did today and Mark finding confidence game on game,” said Morgan.
Although opener Jason Roy took a stunning catch on the mid-wicket boundary to remove Glenn Maxwell, he fell for four to the second ball of England’s reply and has made only 51 runs in his past eight ODI innings.
Morgan said England would consider making changes for Wednesday’s semi-final at Cardiff.
“We always feel Jason’s runs are round the corner,” he said.
“We will give it a couple of days and get together as selectors and see what the best team is. If the decision needs to be made, we can make it.”