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We want fast, flat wickets for Ashes: Ben Stokes

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Last updated on 12 Apr 2023 | 05:52 AM
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We want fast, flat wickets for Ashes: Ben Stokes

England's approach of playing aggressive cricket has helped them to 10 Test wins in the last 12 matches

Since Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum took over the onus of the England Test side, they are playing a brand of cricket hitherto abolished in England, and that approach of playing aggressive cricket has helped them to 10 Test wins in the last 12 matches. Most of the wins have been achieved on flat decks, where run-scoring is like picking apples from the garden, and Stokes is not ready to move away from that approach in order to regain the Urn.

"We've been very clear, especially with the ground staff around England, about what type of wickets we want," Stokes told Sky Sports. "And they've been very responsive to us which has been good.

"We want fast, flat wickets. We want to go out there and score quickly. It brings their [Australia's] guys in if they've got fast wickets to bowl on, then they'll be happy with that as well."

England are grappling with injury concerns in the last few years, particularly with Jofra Archer and Olly Stone, but the duo seem to have made some progress on that front. Even though Archer has been ruled out of the last encounter that Mumbai Indians played against Delhi Capitals, he is expected to be fit for the Ashes. Mark Wood is currently the top wicket-taker in the IPL 2023 while Stone bowled without any pain in the County Championship.

"I think I know what the starting XI is going to be, there or thereabouts. I think having the option to have someone who can bowl above 90mph is what any captain wants. When it comes to that first Test match, I'll be making sure that I pick the best team for that first game,” Stokes said.

"With our bowling group, I've asked the medical team to give us the best opportunity to have eight bowlers to select from for every game. I think this year's Ashes in particular, the games are quite close together. Being able to have those resources available every game is something I'm really keen to have.

"I could pick a 20-man squad (right now) because that's how fortunate we are at the moment to be able to pick from this group of English players who are so good at the moment."

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