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Ben Stokes has confirmed he will return to No 6 in the batting order as he looks to make England Test team ‘great again’

todayMay 3, 2022

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As Ben Stokes reveals he will revert to No 6 in England’s batting line-up, take a look back at one of his most memorable innings from that position when he made 258 against South Africa in 2016.

 

Newly-appointed England captain Ben Stokes has revealed he will be returning to No 6 in the batting order in a move that he believes will only help the team.

Opening up on plans for his new role, Stokes believes that moving back to No 6, rather than batting at No 5 in recent Tests, will maximise his all-round performance as he attempts to end England’s slump in form.

“I am going back to No 6. I know I am at my best for England when I am doing both roles [batting and bowling] as much as the other,” said Stokes.

“I feel that going back to No 6 is going to allow me to concentrate on those roles as much as the other, rather than worry about one while I am doing the other. I feel that’s best for the team.”

After confirming his move up the batting order, Stokes expects to make more big calls as England skipper and the input of other senior voices will be invaluable, especially when rotating his bowling attack.

However, after captaining England against the West Indies in 2020, the 30-year-old believes he has learnt how to ensure his team-mate’s opinions are heard.

He said: “It is something I am going to have to focus on. I have great senior players around me and it would be stupid of me not to include them, in decisions out on the field especially.

 

Stokes Batting Averages: No 5 v No 6

Matches Innings Runs Average 100s
Batting No.5 31 49 1859 39.55 5
Batting No.6 46 76 2741 36.44 6

 

“It’s something I thought I managed very well in the Test match against West Indies. I asked Jos [Buttler] a lot about me personally and what he thought.

“When you are thinking about doing something yourself you might not be thinking about it in the way as someone else.

“Jos said to me a couple of times that you need to come on here. That is an example of me using seniority around me to help me.

“But I have always gone with my gut, which has served me quite well and I will continue to do that as captain.

“Not just about myself but in decisions about who I bring on to bowl. I will make sure other players’ voices feel valued and use other players around me.

 

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“I don’t want it to be ‘Ben’s in charge now, he is the only one making any kind of decision’. I feel a key part of being a leader is about making sure everyone around you feels valued.”

Although positive about how he can aid the team through his own contributions, Stokes is aware that the Test team has a lot of work ahead of them to counteract their recent poor form.

England’s recent struggles have been laid bare, especially for the Test team, who have only managed to win one of their last 17 games and making the Test team ‘great again’ is one of Stokes’s biggest aims in his new role.

Reflecting on England’s struggles, he added: “Being completely realistic, winning one game in 17 is nowhere near good enough for the people we have in our team. We can look at that and go there is only one to go, which is up.

 

 

Former England bowler Graham Onions reveals what the new England captain Ben Stokes is like as a team-mate and leader.

 

“We have not been good enough. That is not a dig at any individual as I have been part of that. As a team we know we have not been good enough, not played to the standard we know we can.

 

“It’s about understanding that and fixing it but we need to understand things won’t happen overnight. I can’t just expect it to click and all of a sudden we are No 1 in a year’s time.

“I am very excited about the role of hopefully making the England Test team great again. It’s a big goal of mine.”

Written by: ravradio

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