Ben Stokes added to England’s Test squad for upcoming Ashes tour of Australia | Cricket News

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Ben Stokes added to England’s Test squad for upcoming Ashes tour of Australia |  Cricket News

Ben Stokes will tour Australia with England this winter

Ben Stokes has been added to England’s Ashes squad after declaring himself ready to play competitive cricket again.

The all-rounder was initially unavailable when England named the touring group for Australia, having spent the past three months on an indefinite hiatus to allow a finger injury to heal as well as prioritise his mental health.

However, after having a second surgery on his left index finger earlier this month, Stokes has filmed himself back in the nets batting and bowling, fueling speculation of an Ashes return, which was confirmed on Monday morning.

“I had a break to prioritize my mental wellbeing and I got my finger sorted,” Stokes said.

“I am looking forward to seeing my mates and being on the field with them. I’m ready for Australia.”

Stokes skipped the summer’s marquee Test series against India and is also a notable absentee from the ongoing T20 World Cup.

Former England captain Nasser Hussain is delighted Ben Stokes has been added to the Ashes squad and says it shows the great all-rounder is in a better place mentally after his break from cricket

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Former England captain Nasser Hussain is delighted Ben Stokes has been added to the Ashes squad and says it shows the great all-rounder is in a better place mentally after his break from cricket

Former England captain Nasser Hussain is delighted Ben Stokes has been added to the Ashes squad and says it shows the great all-rounder is in a better place mentally after his break from cricket

After fracturing his finger at the Indian Premier League in April, necessitating surgery, Stokes was still struggling with lingering discomfort in the area when he aborted a tentative comeback in July.

He had a second operation on October 4 to remove two screws and scar tissue and was given the all-clear by his consultant and the England and Wales Cricket Board medical team to resume training.

Stokes will head to Australia alongside the Test specialists and the supplementary Lions group on November 4.

Mike Atherton says the presence of Ben Stokes will be huge for England in Australia this winter, because there are few players in the game like the all-rounder.

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Mike Atherton says the presence of Ben Stokes will be huge for England in Australia this winter, because there are few players in the game like the all-rounder.

Mike Atherton says the presence of Ben Stokes will be huge for England in Australia this winter, because there are few players in the game like the all-rounder.

England Test Squad for Ashes Tour of Australia 2021-22

Joe Root (c), 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, Ben Stokes , Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

Hussain: ‘Talismanic’ Stokes is virtually irreplaceable

Sky Sports’ Nasser Hussain said England will benefit enormously from having the “talismanic” Stokes in their side in Australia.

“It’s great news,” Hussain told Sky Sports News. “Ben Stokes is virtually irreplaceable in any format; he is one of the great all-rounders in cricket.

“It is great news for Ben Stokes physically, with his finger, but more important, mentally. It just shows that having taken a break out of the game he is in a better place mentally.

Nasser Hussain says he expects Stokes to play in the first Test in Brisbane

Nasser Hussain says he expects Stokes to play in the first Test in Brisbane

“Obviously that will have to be looked after in the weeks and months ahead, but it’s great news that England have their talismanic cricketer back in the side.”

Hussain is expecting Stokes to be named in the line-up at the first time of asking when England take on Australia in the opening Test on December 8.

“It would be like leaving Ian Botham out or something like that,” Hussain said of the prospect of not playing Stokes.

“You have to remember what Stokes did at Headingly last time we were lucky to be there. I was lucky to commentate that time.

Stokes celebrates after hitting the winning runs in the third Ashes Test at Headingley in 2019

Stokes celebrates after hitting the winning runs in the third Ashes Test at Headingley in 2019

“That was one of the greatest innings I have ever seen by any cricketer in Test match cricket. He won that Test match off his own bat, it was truly remarkable the scenes at Headingly and he is that type of cricketer.

“He is the type of cricketer you need against Australia as well, someone to look them in the face and take them on. He is that type of cricketer, you think of Botham, you think of Kevin Pietersen. They (Australia) like to go after players that back down – Stokes definitely won’t do that.

“If he’s fit and available Stokes plays, and all the other pieces of the jigsaw just fall into place after that.”

Broad: I’m fit and firing

England bowler Stuart Broad suffered a calf injury in the build-up to the second Test of England’s summer series against India, which resulted in him missing the remainder of the series, but has declared himself “fit and firing” ahead of the Ashes.

With fast-bowling duo Jofra Archer and Olly Stone already ruled out of the tour by injury, Broad’s fitness is crucial in providing captain Joe Root with options for the tour.

England bowler Stuart Broad says he is 'fit and firing' for the Ashes, having recovered from a calf injury

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England bowler Stuart Broad says he is ‘fit and firing’ for the Ashes, having recovered from a calf injury

England bowler Stuart Broad says he is ‘fit and firing’ for the Ashes, having recovered from a calf injury

The first Test in Brisbane would be Broad’s 150th Test match, with the Nottinghamshire seamer looking to add to his tally of 524 wickets.

Asked about his condition, Broad said: “Yeah, all fit and firing.

“I’ve been back bowling two weeks now. Building my workloads up, building my fitness up, ready for what’s a hugely exciting winter for the red-ball team.

“It’s going to be quite an unpredictable series I think. Australia just haven’t played any cricket. I think they’ve played four Tests in the last year. Players are going to be going in without a lot of match time and I think that will be exciting to watch.”

‘I’d love to dominate Warner again’

England bowler Stuart Broad dismissed Australia's David Warner seven times in the 2019 Ashes

England bowler Stuart Broad dismissed Australia’s David Warner seven times in the 2019 Ashes

Broad dominated Australia batsman David Warner during the last Ashes in 2019, dismissing the opener seven times in 10 innings.

While Broad accepts that keeping Warner quiet in English conditions was perhaps an easier task than he will face this winter, the England bowler says he is preparing to try to maintain a similar influence.

“We’ve had some great battles over the years, going back to 2013,” Broad said.

“As an England opening bowler you want to target the opening batters and the top three.

“We know what a key player he is for Australia and of course I’d love to get him out and have the sort of influence I did in 2019 on him, but I’m very aware of the challenge of bowling in Australia is pretty different to the challenge of bowling in England, but I am prepping myself for that.”

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