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Ashes 2019 | Australians Being Nice to You is Weird: Stokes

Cricketnext Staff |July 31, 2019, 9:01 AM IST
Ashes 2019 | Australians Being Nice to You is Weird: Stokes

Left out of the series in 2017/18 due to an incident in Bristol, Ben Stokes comes into the upcoming Ashes after a roller-coaster World Cup campaign, and has demanded intensity from his team from the word go.

“I think that first morning of any series is when you want to stamp your authority as a team with bat and ball. Getting off to a good start can make it flow throughout the series,” Stokes was quoted as saying by The Guardian.

“You want to be the team on top and win that first day because hopefully that can carry on into the next four. If you go 1-0 down in a series it can be hard to come back from so you want to start very well.”

Stokes, who has been reinstated as vice-captain for the Test side, expects a fierce battle from the Australians and definitely predicts flashpoints through the series.

“It is weird Aussies trying to be nice to you. I think once you get out in the middle and cross the white line, the real competitive side of both teams will come out and Ashes are the biggest Test series played in the world.

“There is always something that happens between teams in Ashes series and I don’t think this will be any different. Both teams are desperate to win, both sets of players are desperate to perform because Ashes series are where you get scrutinised and criticised more, or praised if you do well.”

Stokes, who was missed the Test against Ireland at Lord’s, is hoping to help his old friend Joe Root out with the pressures of leadership and believes he’d be more than ready in case the number 2 needed to step up.

“What I’ve always tried to do is in the past is to take all the little pressures off Joe’s shoulders. He’s captain and all the pressures he has are ginormous. In an Ashes series that goes up 50%. There are other little things that can affect a captain mentally, so it’s a case of anything I can do to help him.”

“Touch wood, nothing does happen but I’ve played enough cricket now with this group – especially Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad – to understand what works for them. If anything happens I know I have a group of senior players who can help me through that.”

England will be hoping that Jofra Archer proves his fitness on time and is able to tackle the dangerous David Warner.

“He is a player who can take games away from you. He is a phenomenal batsman and very dangerous opener. So to tie him down and not let him establish his authority against us would be a really big plus.

“We don’t want to give anything away to any of their batsmen. We want to let them know we are here to be serious and everyone in the changing room is desperately trying to get that urn back because it’s not good them having it.”

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