Stokes compared to Pietersen and Botham with Ashes importance outlined

Former England captain Nasser Hussain has compared Ben Stokes to the likes of Kevin Pietersen and Ian Botham, describing the all-rounder as someone who will "never take a backward step".

Hussain believes Stokes is the exact type of player England need if they are to win the upcoming Ashes series against Australia.

Stokes was a late addition to the Ashes squad, having declared himself fit and ready to go last month after taking a break from the sport to prioritise his mental health and recovery from a finger injury.

In a Q&A in The Cricketer, Hussain was asked how important Stokes' return will be for England's chances of winning the series.

"Huge – not only because he is a formidable allrounder, but because he is such a great character," Hussain said.

"England need that type of cricketer in Australia, players who never take a backward step – Kevin Pietersen, Ian Botham.

"He also gives the side balance, with Jack Leach now having a better chance of playing.

"Obviously they need to keep an eye on Ben’s mental health, that’s vital, but it’s a real bonus for Joe Root.

"He will feel much more confident now standing in the slips alongside his vice-captain and mate."

Stokes is already in Australia training for the series, having flown out earlier this month with the rest of the England players who have not been involved in their T20 World Cup campaign.

And Root is confident that Stokes will be ready to feature in the first at The Gabba on December 8.

"Ben has been fully involved in training the last couple of days," Root said. "It has been very light, we are just trying to acclimatise as best we can.

"He's had a bat, a bowl, taken some catches, doing his fielding work slightly separately. It looks like he's on track and it's really exciting.

"It's managing that excitement and making sure we don't push him too hard so he's ready for the first game.

"It's been remarkable to see how far he's come. It looks very promising. He's been brilliant.

"We've seen him at training, having him back amongst things is always great, so it's really nice to have him back involved."

Source: Read Full Article