The return of Ben Stokes to the England team is great news for cricket and even the Australians are happy
TREVOR BAYLISS: I LOVED working with Ben Stokes. He gave it his all, every day and his inclusion of Ashes is great for cricket … even Australians are happy that the England star is traveling Australia!
- The return of Ben Stokes to the England team is great news for all cricket fans
- Australia will be happy that Stokes is back as they want to play with the best players
- The England star always gave his all during my time in charge of the team
- Stokes brings more than his natural ability to the England dressing room
It’s not just England who will be delighted that Ben Stokes is fit and well and has been added to their Ashes squad. For all cricket fans and for the series, this is great news.
The best players from all sides want to play against each other in the great series and I’m sure all fans, including the one from Australia, want to see the best players in the world regardless of who they support. And Stokes is certainly one of those.
I loved working with Ben when he was coach of England. He always gave it his all, be it with the bat, the ball or on the field. Stokesy never took the easy option. He approaches each practice session as if it were a game. Ben tries to improve every day and in all the time I was with England I never saw him do the moves once. If it did, it was certainly good at hiding it.
Ben Stokes’ return to the England team for the Ashes is fantastic news for all of cricket
There was a time when we had to talk to him about training a little smarter. Choosing when you worked exceptionally hard because we wanted you to be careful not to go overboard, especially before a test. I would spend from five days to seven putting in both the practice days and the game.
We went to various parts of the world and sometimes the practice fields weren’t the best. Some players would be reluctant to hit, but I never saw Ben do that. I caught a little bit on my fingers and body, but it never came off the net. He would just find a way to play and that would put him in a good place when it came to the match.
I really saw his hitting in my four years as a coach. Stokesy became the next best hitter on the team after Joe Root and I mean a high quality hitter, not just someone who could hit the ball in the low-middle order. He learned how to build a ticket and play the way the game conditions and situation demanded.
The off-roader would always give it his all, every day during training with England
Stokes was recommended to train smarter due to his relentless mindset in each and every session.
That was perfectly demonstrated in 2019 when he played such an important role in England’s World Cup victory and then produced one of Ashes’ big innings to win that event at Headingley. He earned those moments with all the hard work he put into his game. And he showed his mental strength both times, which at the top level is just as important as skill.
The inclusion of Ben in the Ashes team is a huge boost for England’s chances. It’s not just what he can bring with the bat and the ball. He also has the ability to lift a team simply by being in the park with them.
There were times with England where we missed a game and we just didn’t play very well. He wasn’t even sure what it was we were missing, but Ben had it. The atmosphere was different with him there. It just instills confidence in everyone you play with.
Australia has great respect for Ben. I’ve talked to one or two of your guys and they’re really happy he’s coming here next week. They are happy for him that he is back in the game after taking a break and they will enjoy the battle. He plays the game similar to how the Australians do and they know they will have a tougher competition ahead of him on the England team. Your presence will make a much better show.
He is capable of the spectacular and brings something more to the England dressing room
Stokesy was announced in Australia with that century in Perth in 2013-14 and we were obviously disappointed not to have it with us when I took England to the ashes in 2017. But that situation was what it was and we had to move on. .
Ben was the last player I thought would need a timeout from the game, but his absence was a reminder that these things can affect even the strongest people, particularly in the environments created by the pandemic. I’ve been through bubbles myself in the last 18 months and I can tell you that it’s not as easy as you think. You are surrounded by four walls for days and you have almost too much time to think.
So I’m delighted to see Ben back and healthy and hope to catch up with him sometime in the next few months. Certainly now there is another layer in the ashes, and we can all be thankful for that.
The Australians are happy that Stokes is involved as they want to face the best in the world