In what comes as a major boost for England, star all-rounder Ben Stokes was added to England’s Ashes squad. Stokes was on a mental health break and was not selected in the initial squad. However, the southpaw decided to come out of his break to play the Ashes.
Former England captain Michael Vaughan is ecstatic with the development and feels that Stokes’ availability will make a huge difference to England in the series. Vaughan said he was not optimistic about England’ chances in the series but Stokes return has given him hope that England can pull off a win in Australia.
“Ben Stokes’s return for the Ashes is huge,” Vaughan said to Daily Telegraph. “Without him, I would not have given England a chance, said Vaughan.
Vaughan further said that Stokes’ contribution is not limited to the bat and ball, adding that he has an aura that lifts the spirits of the players around him. “Stokes is the engine of this England team, the guy who powers them. Not only does he contribute massively himself, he lifts the performances of those around him, inspiring, cajoling, and driving up standards.”
Stokes was the star for England in the 2019 Ashes. In the third Test in Leeds, he played one of the best knocks one would see in the second inning run-chase. Stokes’ 135 run knock single-handedly snatched victory from the jaws of defeat for England. Vaughan added that the southpaw’s presence in the team will send shivers down the spines of a few Australians.
“Crucially, he is also a player Australia fear,” added Vaughan. “The scars he inflicted on them at Headingley two years ago will not have fully healed, and the sight of him walking out at Brisbane — or wherever he manages to play his first test — will send a few shivers up local spines.”