Joe Root, England Test skipper, has said that he is absolutely thrilled with the addition of Ben Stokes in the Ashes 2021/22 squad, as everyone knows what the all-rounder is capable of.
Ben Stokes had last played in the ODI series against Pakistan, where he captained a young side successfully in the absence of Covid-19 hit original squad, and then he had taken some time to look after his mental health.
Joe Root Elated At The Massive News Of Ben Stokes Availability For Ashes
His name wasn’t included in the Ashes 2021/22 initial squad, but the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) later announced that Ben Stokes would be available for the series, which is due to start on December 8.
“Obviously, it’s massive news. Speak to anyone within the game, whether they’d prefer to have Ben in their team or not, and everyone would say they would. On a personal level, I’m just absolutely thrilled that he’s in a place where he can get back playing and enjoy the sport once again,” Joe Root said.
“Although we all know what Ben is capable of, we’re still managing expectations. He’s been out of the game a long time, he’s had a serious injury and he’s got a lot of work to do to get himself back to the Ben Stokes we all know. But if there’s one thing we can bet on with Ben it’s that he’ll do everything he can to ready himself and then put in performances that help England win games of cricket,” Joe Root said.
Ben Stokes recently underwent a second surgery on his broken finger. He broke his hand while taking a catch for Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League 2021, and a repeat X-ray and CT scan revealed that he has a fracture of his left index finger.
Joe Root: Ben Stokes A Massive Aspect In Many Respects
England and Australia will lock horns in five-match Ashes series, beginning December 8 at the Gabba, Brisbane.
“He’s a massive asset in many respects. First and foremost, his performances on the field, especially what he has done against Australia in the recent past. But also the way that he plays his cricket. Look at where we are going: we are going to have periods of play where it’s going to be very challenging. We’re going have to have people stick their hands up and grab the game – he is someone who will always do that,” Joe Root said.
“He’ll lead from the front in that respect, he is a brilliant leader in the dressing room and people follow him. They look at how he works, how he practices, how he goes about his cricket. And they all want to go along with him.
“That’s a great trait to have, along with being capable of performing how he does. It’s a huge boost for balancing the side as well, as he has done for such a long time now. Everything about the way he goes about things is going to be great for us,” he added.
Ben Stokes had undergone a secondary operation on his finger last month, to remove scar tissue. He averages 37.05 in 71 Tests, where he amassed 4631 runs with 10 tons and has also taken 163 scalps averaging 31.38 with the ball in hand. The left-handed batsman played one of the greatest Ashes knocks in the memorable Leeds Test in 2019.
Chasing an improbable 359-run target, England looked down and out at 286-9. However, in the company of last man Jack Leach, Ben Stokes helped England pull off one of the most thrilling one-wicket heists in Test history. It was largely due to Ben Stokes’ 135*, England could force a share of the spoils.
England’s full squad for The Ashes: Joe Root (captain), James Anderson, Jonathan Bairstow, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Haseeb Hameed, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Dawid Malan, Craig Overton, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood, Ben Stokes.