Former England captain Michael Vaughan was delighted with the addition of allrounder Ben Stokes to England’s Ashes squad ahead of the tournament. He believes that his timely return could inject confidence and balance for Joe Root’s side.
“Ben Stokes is the engine of this England team, the guy who powers them. Not only does he contribute massively himself, he lifts the performances of those around him, inspiring, cajoling and driving up standards,” Vaughan wrote in his latest column for UK Telegraph.
“Crucially, he is also a player that Australia fear. The scars he inflicted on them at Headingley two years ago will not have fully healed and the sight of him walking out at Brisbane – or wherever he manages to play his first Test – will send a few shivers up local spines,” he added.
Vaughan further stated that Australians remain ‘clear favourites’ but Ben Stokes ’s availability has opened up a world of possibility for England.
Meanwhile, England’s managing director of men’s cricket Ashley Giles Stokes is a major boost. “Time and time again, Ben Stokes has demonstrated how important he is to the England team and having him available for the Ashes series is excellent news for all of us,” he was as quoted by Foxsports.
However, he stressed that England will opt for a cautious approach for the star allrounder.
“Having not played for some time, we will move forward cautiously over the next few weeks to ensure he is fully prepared across all facets of his game,” he added.
A rare number of players of England players have tasted success against Australia in their backyard. Stokes had announced his arrival in Tests with a century at Perth and relishes the battle between the two teams.
- In the last three years, Ben Stokes averages 45 with the bat and 28 with the ball.
- He is ranked 2nd in ICC’s rankings for all-rounders despite his long absence from cricket.
- His unbeaten 135 at Headingley in 2019 which helped England chase down 362 and win by one wicket remains one of the best performances of the 21st century.
- Against Australia, talisman Stokes has amassed 921 runs in 14 matches which features 3 centuries and 4 fifties. He has also scalped 34 wickets against the Aussies.
- England are yet to defeat Australia in Ashes since 2011. They have are yet to register a victory in the last 10 matches (9 losses, 1 drawn).
England squad for Ashes tour: Joe Root (capt), James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler (wk), Zak Crawley, Haseeb Hameed, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Dawid Malan, Craig Overton, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.
Ashes 2021 Schedule
First Test: December 8-12, The Gabba
Second Test: December 16-20, Adelaide Oval
Third Test: December 26-30, MCG
Fourth Test: January 5-9, SCG
Fifth Test: January 14-18, Perth Stadium