Following a massive 151-run loss at the hands of India at Lord's, England head coach Chris Silverwood has asserted that he would not push star all-rounder Ben Stokes to return early from his break.
Stokes had announced he would take an indefinite break ahead of the five-Test series against India to focus on his mental well-being, effectively ruling him out of the upcoming T20 World Cup and also the Ashes. His absence has been felt in the first two Tests against England, but Silverwood insists Stokes will return when he is ready.
"No, there is no pushing from my point of view. I don't think you can push with these issues. I will wait and there will be an element of waiting for him to come to me to let me know he is ready," Silverwood said.
Stokes had taken an indefinite break from the game last month after leading England to a 3-0 ODI series win over Pakistan. Echoing Root's opinion, Silverwood said one can't push an individual on sensitive matters like mental health. "There is no time limit on it," asserted Silverwood.
"I would stress again the important thing is Ben is okay, his family is okay and that he comes back strong and when he re-enters the frame, he is ready in his mind to come back and perform for England like we know he can."
"I am certainly not pushing him for an answer and I don't think that would be the right thing to do. There are people around him supporting him and, when he is ready to come back in, we will welcome him with open arms, but until then he will get all the support he needs."
England are expected to announce the squad for the third Test on Wednesday (August 18). There are question marks also over the fitness of pacer Mark Wood after he injured himself while fielding in the Lord's Test.
The third Test in Headingley begins on August 25.
(With inputs from PTI)