Ahead of the fourth Ashes Test between England and Australia at Manchester, England captain Joe Root has called Ben Stokes an ‘inspiration’ for the rest of his team mates, with the way he goes about things on and off the field.
Stokes was the architect of England’s stunning victory at Headingley, ensuring that the Ashes were still alive and the series would be locked at 1-1.
“One thing you know about Ben is that when the big occasions come around, he is going to be there,” Root said.
“He is going to want to be a part of it, he is never going to shy away from any sort of challenge, and he has proven that this summer. If you combine that with the skill and ability he has and it’s a great combination and a great inspiration for not only the young guys coming into this team but the senior players as well.
“For him, I think he has just got to keep working and doing exactly what he is doing – he’s flying at the moment! He needs to harness that, bottle it up and make the most of it while he is in this great form.
“He is a great team man, he is one of those guys who will go out of his way to help everyone and make sure that they feel like they are ready. He’ll always offer advice, he’s a brilliant senior player and leader. He shows that on the field.
“He’s got a good balance of knowing when to say the right things. He’s very passionate and he drags people with him. He’s just a genuinely good bloke.”
England’s dramatic victory has swung the tide towards the hosts in the Ashes, and the potential effects of miraculous wins such as the one at Headingley are not being underplayed by the England captain.
“When you come off a win like that it is a big lift for the whole squad,” he said.
“For that game to unravel like it did and for us to turn up here full of confidence and very much alive in this series is… I thought the way we played the week before at Lord’s it started to feel like we were wrestling our way back into the series and we did a lot of good stuff there.
“It felt like last week we made a lot of mistakes and didn’t quite get it right but through some individual brilliance and some resilience in our batting in the second innings and high-quality bowling, bar the odd spell here or there, we still managed to win.
“In a way, if we can bring those two performances together we feel like we’ll be in a really good place at the end of this week as well.”