The Ashes: Ben Stokes is Australia’s undisputed enemy #1

Australia acknowledge they have to discover a solution to shut down Ben Stokes in an effort to wrap up their first Ashes sequence victory in England in 22 years.

Stokes once more confirmed at Headingley why he’s essentially the most harmful man in English cricket on Friday, together with his first-innings 80 conserving the hosts within the third Take a look at.

Battling hip and knee accidents, Stokes bludgeoned 53 runs off 41 balls after lunch on day two to scale back England’s first-innings deficit to 26 when the captain was final man out.

Buoyed by Stokes’ efforts, England fought additional again into the match with the ball to have Australia 4-116 at stumps and trailing by 142 runs.

It was on this corresponding match 4 years in the past that Stokes made his match-winning 135.

However his ongoing menace is arguably extra regarding for Australia on this sequence.

After a uncommon failure within the first Take a look at at Edgbaston, it took a superb Mitchell Starc outswinger to dismiss Stokes within the first innings at Lord’s for 17.

Stokes then responded by nearly hitting England house with 155 within the second innings, earlier than Friday’s highly effective knock at Leeds.

Australia have toyed with sending all males out on the boundary for Stokes, whereas additionally trying to make him hit to deeper pockets within the floor.

All-our aggression

However the shorter boundaries at Headingley make that tough, notably when the left-hander is batting with the tail and in all-out aggression mode.

Stokes’ innings on Friday additionally got here as England’s Bazball batting unravelled round him, with Pat Cummins taking 6-91 for Australia.

“Ben Stokes is an unbelievable chief and we have now an unbelievable one in Pat Cummins too,” Australia coach Andrew McDonald stated.

“We have now to work out a solution to navigate by way of Ben Stokes within the second innings and Pat at the moment was excellent.

“That one-on-one showdown is a should watch.”

Friday’s knock got here with Stokes in apparent ache, twice needing medical help on the sphere and a minimum of as soon as receiving remedy.

However England know the impression of what even a half-fit skipper has on their aspect and the opposition, as Australia purpose to set a fourth-innings goal of past 300 runs.

“He’s the one participant on the earth that everyone might be considering (we will chase something) in that scenario,” teammate Moeen Ali stated.

“Particularly towards Australia as a result of he has completed it a few occasions now.

“White ball, crimson ball – no matter it’s, so long as he’s there you’ve acquired an awesome probability of profitable

“It’s tough, there’s a lot he’s coping with. Once I was batting he was slightly bit sore. There’s much more than he’s displaying.”