Ben Stokes to return to England in the first Ashes Test against Australia | Ash 2021-22

Chris Silverwood expects Ben Stokes to return to Gabba this week, and the head coach believes the very presence of England’s Headingley hero from 2019 has lifted hopes of winning Ashes back from Australia this winter.

Stokes have impressed Silverwood with a typical full gas back to training after completing a four-month break from cricket to take care of his mental health and undergo another surgery on his left index finger.

Asked if the all-rounder is now ready to start the series despite a lack of warm-up cricket, Silverwood replied: “He certainly has not told me anything else, and from the sounds I hear, I should imagine he will tell me. , that he is ready.

“I think it’s massive. We felt a boost when his name came back in the hat to be on tour. We love having him around us, not just from this cricket point of view. He’s lively around the locker room and a “Leadership in itself. People listen to him, he has many things to share. And from a cricket point of view, we have seen how destructive he is at times with bat and ball.”

Justin Langer, Australia’s head coach, admitted at the weekend that he still has nightmares about Stokes, both from the undefeated 135 who completed the miracle race chase in Leeds during the draw two years ago and the marathon period with the ball that preceded. that. Silverwood also did this, saying: “That bank at Headingley certainly hurt the Australians and will still hurt for a while to come. They know what he’s capable of and they know he can take anyone down. “

Despite all the hype surrounding Stokes, the length of his dismissal means there are no guarantees of immediate results. The 30-year-old’s lone warm-up innings against the Lions last week produced 56 balls, 42 before retiring, but his 10 overs with the ball were reportedly hostile and returned two wickets.

It creates a blockage in the English middle order, and Silverwood has a headache by choosing between Jonny Bairstow’s experience or the upcoming man in Ollie Pope. He and Joe Root, England’s Test captain, also take the time to decide the composition of their bowling attack due to concerns about the readiness of the front line.

While Australia have already named their XI, Silverwood stressed that they are in the same boat on this front, with Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood all in the T20 World Cup and since then limited to intermediate training.

The global T20 tournament led to Silverwood’s late arrival on tour with England’s multi-format players and was also overshadowed by the racism scandal that erupted in Yorkshire through Azeem Rafiq’s parliamentary evidence. Further accusations at Essex make it two clubs from the head coach’s own career.

Asked if he had witnessed racism during his time in both counties, Silverwood replied, “I’m not sure I did. I look back on it, and some of the people involved were, of course. friends of mine and I have worked closely with.

“It simply came to our notice then. I would hope that if I had heard it, I would have said something. But I know that if I hear anything, I will resist it.

“It’s sad, right? It’s clear that people have been hurt in the past. It also hurts us as a cricket fraternity. We have to make this a game for everyone. And I’m not just saying it, I really think on it.

“If I look at the team we have here, there are a lot of people who really believe in that too. We have touched [diverse England] white-ball locker room before.

“How did we learn so much about each other? Well, we took interest. We learned, we asked questions. We sincerely love each other. That’s the way forward. We have to help filter through to everywhere, really.”

Give a Comment