England Can Win Both Remaining Ashes Tests: Stokes

Ben Stokes had no hesitation in saying England can win the Ashes after their dramatic third-Test win at Headingley.

England’s three-wicket victory keeps the series alive but Australia still lead 2-1 with two Tests to play.

Only one side – Australia in 1936-37 – has ever come from 2-0 down to win the Ashes.

But asked if England can stage a remarkable comeback and win back the urn, Stokes’ answer to BBC Test Match Special was a simple one: “Yep.”

The fourth Test at Old Trafford starts on Wednesday, 19 July

Stokes said victory on day four at Headingley reminded him of the famous 2019 triumph that he spearheaded on the same ground.

“Headingley, day four yet again,” he added. “It’s some place to play cricket.

“I don’t know what it is about the place but it seems to bring out great games and unforgettable moments for the fans who come and watch.”

It was not Stokes leading England home this time as he feathered behind down the leg side soon after lunch and was left with a watching brief.

The match-winning knock belonged to Harry Brook. The Yorkshireman made 75, his highest score in a home Test, before falling with the hosts 21 runs from their target.

“The way Brooky controlled the game from ball one with the bat was amazing,” said Stokes.

“He went out there and put the pressure straight back on them. Then the way he played with Chris Woakes in that very important partnership for us, it was high class.

“For such a young lad, in a high-pressure situation in an Ashes series, it was incredible.

“We’ve all seen what he can do with the bat, he’s an incredibly gifted player and he’s only going to get better the more pressure situations he gets put in.”

After scoring four centuries over the winter, Brook has had a relatively quiet summer, with this only his second half-century of the series.

“I don’t think I can quite believe it yet, to do it here in front of my home crowd,” the 24-year-old told Test Match Special.

“It’s a phenomenal win and sets up the rest of the series.”

Having been moved up to three for the first innings, Brook was back down at five after England sprung a surprise and sent Moeen Ali in at first drop.

“Last night Mo came up to Baz and said, ‘Let me have a go at three, I want to have a go at these guys,'” said Stokes.

“We thought he could have a much bigger influence on the game batting at three this innings than he would down at seven.

“It didn’t work but I love the fact that Mo took the responsibility on his shoulders.”

He added: “When I took the role on, I asked for 10 other selfless cricketers and that little moment of Mo going to Baz and saying, ‘I want the opportunity’ is everything we’re about as a team.”

When Brook was dismissed, it was left to Woakes and Mark Wood – both making their first appearance of the series – to finish the job for England.

Wood ended unbeaten on 16 and, having also taken seven wickets in the Test, was named player of the match.

“Woakes and I have car shared all week,” said Wood. “We said we’d get plenty of runs and wickets in those car share chats.”

Woakes added: “We wanted to put in a good performance, it was up and down, but to be 2-1 going into Old Trafford and still in the series is a great place to be. BBC

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