Ben Stokes Is A Player That Australia Fear: Michael Vaughan On Ben Stokes Return For Ashes 2021/22
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Ben Stokes Is A Player That Australia Fear: Michael Vaughan On Ben Stokes Return For Ashes 2021/22

Michael Vaughan. (Image Credits: Getty)
Michael Vaughan. (Image Credits: Getty)

Michael Vaughan, former England captain, has joined the bandwagon of players, present and former, to express excitement about all-rounder Ben Stokes’ return for the Ashes series. However, Michael Vaughan feels Australia should be concerned, as the all-rounder is an imposing prospect.

Ben Stokes has announced his return to international cricket, claiming he is looking forward to joining his mates in Australia and is ready for the Ashes 2021/22, following which he was added as a late inclusion to the squad. The seam-bowling all-rounder, who opted for a mental-health break in August, said he is prepared to play his best cricket this winter.

Ben Stokes, England all-rounder
Ben Stokes, England all-rounder (Photo | AP)

Michael Vaughan: Ben Stokes Is A Player That Australia Fear, And He Has Unfinished Business With The Australians

Writing in his column, former England skipper Michael Vaughan wrote that Australia should feel worried by the return of all-rounder Ben Stokes, considering the all-rounder’s Headingley heroics in 2019.

Michael Vaughan wrote: “Crucially, he is also a player that Australia fear. 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.”

Michael Vaughan (Image Credit: Twitter)
Michael Vaughan (Image Credit: Twitter)

Michael Vaughan also noted that Ben Stokes, who missed the last tour Down Under, will arrive in Australia with a point or two to prove after losing his only series in the country.

The 46-year old added: “Stokes also has unfinished business with the Aussies. Winning in Australia will be on the cricketing bucket list, and having missed the last series Down Under after the Bristol nightclub incident, I can completely understand how this was a series he felt he simply couldn’t miss. He will not have wanted to go down in history as having only played one Test series in Australia.”

Ben Stokes emerged on the scene eight years ago when England toured Australia for the 2013-14 Ashes series. In an otherwise disastrous tour, the 30-year-old scored his maiden Test hundred in Perth and was a rare silver lining for England. Eight years later, Ben Stokes is one of the best all-format all-rounders in the game and has delivered in big games and series.

Ben Stokes recently underwent a second surgery on his broken finger. Ben Stokes had decided not to take part in the England-India Test series, the second half of IPL 2021 at UAE, T20I World Cup to prioritize his mental wellbeing over cricket but returned for Ashes 2021/22. The seam-bowling all-rounder could not play in the 2017-18 Ashes in Australia after his involvement in the street brawl and the disciplinary process that followed.

Ben Stokes last played for England in the ODI series against Pakistan in July, when he returned to captain the team at short notice after Eoin Morgan and the rest of the squad were forced into isolation by a number of Covid-19 positives. He batted twice and bowled a handful of overs, as England won the series 3-0, but only played twice in the Hundred thereafter before stepping away from the game indefinitely.

Michael Vaughan Backed Australia As Clear Favorites To Win Ashes 2021/22

Although Michael Vaughan has backed hosts Australia to win the series, he thinks Ben Stokes’ return has offered England plenty of hope and optimism as most of the chosen cricketers of England aren’t in great touch and are in inconsistent form in the past Test series against India and New Zealand.

Vaughan added: “I would still make Australia clear favourites to win the series – remember, we only drew 2-2 on home soil, where we’re strong, when we had him at his best – but it does feel like this has opened up a new world of possibilities.”

Ashes Urn Photo: cricket.com.au
Ashes Urn Photo: cricket.com.au

The left-handed batsman played one of the greatest Ashes knocks in the memorable Leeds Test in 2019. Chasing an improbable 359-run target, England looked down and out at 286-9. However, in the company of last man Jack Leach, Ben Stokes helped England pull off one of the most thrilling one-wicket heists in Test history. It was largely due to Ben Stokes’ 135*, England could force a share of the spoils.

Ben Stokes broke his hand, taking a catch for Rajasthan Royals in India leg of IPL 2021, and a repeat X-ray and CT scan revealed that he has a fracture of his left index finger. As a result, he missed the 2 Tests against New Zealand, while his last Test came against India in March 2021. Ben Stokes averages 37.05 in 71 Tests, where he amassed 4631 runs with 10 tons and has also taken 163 scalps averaging 31.38 with the ball in hand.

England’s full squad for The Ashes: Joe Root (captain), 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, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood, Ben Stokes.

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