When Australia comes to play in the Ashes, England’s captain, Ben Stokes, wants to add a new dimension of danger to the aggressive strategy that has helped his team win 10 of 12 Tests.
When the Ashes begin on June 16th, Ben Stokes will turn to pace while also supporting the electric batting that has served England so well under his Test captaincy.
Since last year, when Stokes and head coach Brendon McCullum instituted a strategy known as ‘Bazball,’ England has scored at a staggering 4.76 runs per over in Tests.
Even in conditions that usually favour seamers, Stokes wants England to go after bitter rivals Australia with express pace. He has also revealed that he has a specific lineup in mind.
Stokes said to Sky Sports, “I think I know what the starting XI is going to be, there or thereabouts,”
“Having the option to bowl above 90mph, any captain wants that. When it comes to that first Test I will be making sure I pick the best team for that first game.”
“We’ve been clear, especially with the ground staff around England, about what type of wickets we want and they’ve been responsive. We want flat, fast wickets.”
The Ashes Series Finally Begins!
The Ashes series begins at Edgbaston, where England hopes to use speedster Jofra Archer. Mark Wood and Olly Stone are also potential choices.
When Australia last visited England in 2019, Archer made an impressive Test debut, but he has been limited to just 13 red-ball appearances owing to a slew of injuries.
The right-arm quick returned following an 18-month absence due to an elbow problem, but he has yet to play a significant role for Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League.
England will be taking a new approach to the Ashes, but the veteran combo of James Anderson and Stuart Broad, who terrorised Australia at home, might play a crucial role.
“Jimmy and Broad had been so protective over their economy rates, but now they have seen a different side to it,” as stated by Stokes.
“Having those two with a ‘fine to go for runs mentality’ is something that will do us fine if Australia come back at us.”
The dates for the 2023 Ashes
England’s home schedule for 2023:
Thursday June 1-Sunday June 4: One-off Test Match, England Men v Ireland Men, Lord’s
Men’s Ashes Series
- Friday June 16-Tuesday June 20: 1st Test, England Men v Australia Men, Edgbaston
- Wednesday June 28-Sunday July 2: 2nd Test, England Men v Australia Men, Lord’s
- Thursday July 6-Monday July 10: 3rd Test, England Men v Australia Men, Headingley
- Wednesday July 19-Sunday July 23: 4th Test, England Men v Australia Men, Emirates Old Trafford
- Thursday July 27-Monday 31: 5th Test, England Men v Australia Men, The Kia Oval
Women’s Ashes Series
- Thursday June 22-Monday June 26: One-off Test Match, England Women v Australia Women. Trent Bridge
- Saturday July 1: 1st T20I, England Women v Australia Women, Edgbaston
- Wednesday July 5: 2nd T20I, England Women v Australia Women, The Kia Oval
- Saturday July 8: 3rd T20I, England Women v Australia Women, Lord’s
- Wednesday July 12: 1st ODI, England Women v Australia Women, Seat Unique Stadium, Bristol
- Sunday July 16: 2nd ODI, England Women v Australia Women, The Ageas Bowl
- Tuesday July 18: 3rd ODI, England Women v Australia Women, Cooper Associates County Ground, Taunton
Stokes has missed some games for the Mumbai Indians in the IPL because of a problem with his left knee.
The 31-year-old all-rounder is convinced he can push through the pain to help England’s pace attack reclaim the Ashes against Australia. He has 194 Test wickets.
“I‘ve worked so hard over the last month, five weeks, to get where I am now,” Stokes added.
“Being able to bowl pain-free, touch wood, has been good. I went for 18 runs, but I was like ’oh I managed to bowl an over without pain in my knee’.
“The main priority for me is making sure that I can fulfil my role as fourth seamer in the Ashes.”
The next cycle of the ICC World Test Championship will include the five Tests that make up the Ashes series.
The World T20 final between Australia and India will be played at the Oval starting on June 7, while England will play Ireland in a four-day Test beginning on June 1 at Lord’s.