Ben Stokes confident of bowling in Ashes | Cricket News

Captain of England Ben Stokes expressed his confidence in his ability to play against Australia in the next Ashes series, stating that he gave himself the “best opportunity” to do so. Stokes is dealing with a long-standing left knee problem which resurfaced during the New Zealand tour in February.
During the recent Indian Premier League (IPL), Stokes had limited appearances for Chennai Super Kings, playing just one on 18 points. However, on the eve of England’s Test against Ireland at Lord’s, the 31-year-old remained optimistic about his chances of bowling when the Ashes’ five-game contest begins on June 16.
“The knee is in a much better place than it was in Wellington. I went to India for the IPL, and for the last eight or nine weeks I know I’ve put myself in a position where I don’t can’t say I regret anything,” Stokes told reporters.
“I’ve put myself in a place where I feel like I’m in the 2019, 2020 space in terms of my own body and my fitness. I’ve definitely given myself the best opportunity (to go bowling this summer). We know what it is (the problem) and now it’s about dealing with it,” he added.

Stokes had a standout performance in the previous Ashes series hosted in England four years ago, where his outstanding unbeaten century led England to an incredible one-wicket victory at Headingley, resulting in a 2-2 draw .
Asked about the importance of the Ashes, Stokes replied: “It’s just the history and what the Ashes are. We are lucky as English and Australian players to be the only ones who can play there. It’s one of those series that has an amazing story and will continue to capture the imagination of the world.We all know what Ashes means.
Ahead of the highly anticipated Ashes series, Stokes and the squad must focus on their four-day test against Ireland. England selected three front row fast bowlers, including debutant Josh Tongue, while James Anderson and Ollie Robinson rested ahead of Edgbaston’s opener against Australia.

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Speaking of Tongue, Stokes commented: “Tonguey has been someone who has been talked about since he first arrived and played for Worcestershire. To have someone who is able to play with that extra pace so that he can change the way the game goes and having that X factor is always great to have on your side.”
With Stokes confident of his fitness and willingness to contribute with both bat and ball, England will be eager to reclaim the Ashes urn against long-time rivals Australia.
(With contributions from AFP)


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