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Joe Root backs ‘massive asset’ Ben Stokes to get the best of him back at the Ashes

Test captain Joe Root has warned Ben Stokes will need time to return to his world best, but believes the presence of the off-roader in the Ashes team has already given England hopes a big boost.

Stokes will be on the plane when England testing specialists and the Lions team head to Brisbane on Thursday after ending a self-imposed hiatus from the game, during which he chose to prioritize his mental health and rehabilitation of a very bad index finger. broken.

A fit and healthy Stokes not only balances the team with bat and ball, the legacy of his previous performances, including his ‘Headingley miracle’ against the Australians in 2019, carries an aura that can lift the spirits of his Teammates. and sow seeds of doubt in your opponents.

Joe Root admitted that the return of Ben Stokes (right) for the Ashes tour of England is a huge boost

Joe Root admitted that the return of Ben Stokes (right) for the Ashes tour of England is a huge boost

Stokes will be on the plane when England heads to Australia on Thursday to search for the ashes.

Stokes will be on the plane when England heads to Australia on Thursday to search for the ashes.

Stokes will be on the plane when England heads to Australia on Thursday to search for the ashes.

Root, who will lead the first part of the red ball camp while head coach Chris Silverwood oversees the remainder of the Twenty20 World Cup campaign in the UAE, is delighted to have his right hand man on board, but also realistic.

When the first test begins in Brisbane on December 8, Stokes will not have played competitive cricket for nearly five months.

“While we all know what Ben is capable of, and it’s a huge boost for us as a team, we are still managing expectations,” said Root.

“He’s been out of the game for a long time, he’s had a serious injury and he has a lot of work to do to get back to the Ben Stokes we all know.

But talk to anyone in the game about whether you would rather have Ben on your team or not and they would all say they would.

“If there is one thing we can bet on with Ben it is that he will do his best to prepare and then put on performances that help England win cricket matches.

“He is a huge asset in many ways, first of all his performances on the field and especially what he has done against Australia in the recent past. But also the way he plays cricket.

‘We are going to have periods of play where it will be very challenging. We’re going to get people to raise their hands and catch the game; he is someone who will always do that.

“ He will lead from the front in that sense, he is a brilliant leader in the locker room and people follow him. They watch how he works, how he practices, how he does his cricket. And everyone wants to join him.

Stokes, speaking to Sky Sports News, tried to downplay his own importance.

“A team in cricket is 11 players, plus the extended team and all the back room staff, so I know a player doesn’t make a team,” he said.

‘I know I am a senior member of that team in recent years (but) each member of that team is as important as the others. We all play different roles and everyone is capable of winning that match on their own. ”

As for his physical condition, he added: ‘The surgeon who performed the second surgery, as well as the first, I have probably seen him more times than I would have liked, but he really fixed it the second time.

“ I had a lot of scar tissue built up around my joint and tendons so it removed all of that, which thankfully allowed me to do some movement and also removed most of the frustration in terms of pain.

“ I just took it day by day, step by step, and I had fantastic support around me to help me get through that. I am excited to get out. I can’t wait to see you all. ‘

England will travel directly to an exclusive-use resort on the Gold Coast after landing in Australia, followed by three days confined to their rooms.

The remainder of their 14-day quarantine, following negotiations with Cricket Australia and the state government, will allow them to train together using the nearby Metricon Stadium as a base.

Instead of the usual warm-up games against the local XIs, England will lead their own opposition in the form of the group of second-row Lions, several of whom will hope to make a big enough impression to hold on.

Stokes has a history against Australia, particularly his century in 'The Mircale of Headingley'

Stokes has a history against Australia, particularly his century in 'The Mircale of Headingley'

Stokes has a history against Australia, particularly his century in ‘The Mircale of Headingley’

Meanwhile, Root is delighted with England's preparation plans when they land in Australia.

Meanwhile, Root is delighted with England's preparation plans when they land in Australia.

Meanwhile, Root is delighted with England’s preparation plans when they land in Australia.

“It will be a great preparation, it is a great opportunity from a development standpoint for that group of Lions to show what they can do,” said Root.

“ We just have to look back on Ashes’ two previous tours to know that there have been injuries and this is a great opportunity for people to raise their hands and show what they are capable of in case something like this happens again. happen.

“It should be extremely competitive, which is exactly what you want for a great series.”

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