England’s fast bowler James Anderson believes that if Ben Stokes’ absence does happen, it will not have any impact on the preparation process of the team. Stokes has been suspended by the England and Wales Cricket Board following his brawl outside a nightclub of Bristol.
There is no doubt that Ben Stokes is in the form of his life and if he doesn’t go on Ashes tour, it would be a huge blow for England. Stokes can only make the cut into the squad if the police investigation gets over before the Ashes and if the police’s verdict comes after that, then the all-rounder will have to miss on the all-important tour.
England will have to move on from Ben Stokes
It is palpable that Stokes episode can put the whole England team under some pressure and it can be a hindrance in their Ashes preparation. But Anderson believes that the focus is on the process and they are not distracted by any of it.
Anderson said while talking to Sky Sports, “When we won the Ashes in 2010/11, we didn’t win it with 11 players – we won with 13/14/15 players. The biggest thing for us is we get 15 or 16 players to be on top of their game when we get to Australia and be able to perform for our team”.
Stokes’ absence can be a psychological disadvantage for England but Anderson is spot on as it is always about the whole team playing at the top of their game. As a team you want everyone to contribute to side’s success and it is not about an individual.
Anderson added, “Once we get there, the only focus will be beating Australia… It’s just a case of being strong enough and having that tunnel vision to focus on the individual and as a team and what will help the team win the series. My own focus will be on my bowling and what I can do to help the team and I’m sure all the other individuals in the side will do that. If we can do that then I’m sure we’ll galvanize and put in a strong performance”.
England will look to retain the urn in Australia and it is going to be a challenge for them in overseas conditions. The first Ashes Test will kick-start on November 23 in Brisbane.