“I’ve always had the attitude that’it’s never over until it’s over’.”
So says celebrity Ben Stokes, who turned into outright genius at Headingley with a stupendous 135no which led England to a amazing , series-levelling one-wicket success.
Rob Key caught up with the all-rounder ahead of the first Test at Old Trafford to relive one of the best Test comebacks of all time from Stokes in his own words…
“Those are the moments, I guess, that really test you in terms of where you are as a group. My shot was probably the worst of everyone’s, to be honest. It was absolutely dreadful out of walking out having a positive mindset however, it came. I was in a mindset of’when I get whatever loose , I’m going to attack itthey were bowling well that balls that are poor are not likely to come ‘.
“We had to get rid of the disappointment of that innings very fast and turn our focus to bowling. We didn’t bowl them out. Stuart Broad has performed with 130 Tests but he got so revved up until we bowled and went out. I’ve seen him put up to get an occasion plenty of occasions like he had been in the huddle for quite a long time, but I have not seen him. I am not going to repeat what he said but he said’we all need to bowl at these men like we’re defending 170 to stay within this Test match’. He also got the big wicket of all Warner immediately. He was so geed up he did observe; it had been like’I and I’m likely to place the stage for this .’
“I’ve bowled long spells before in Test matches. The initial four or five overs are the toughest because your body is not going. You really feel as if you’re running in tough and whacking the ball down but you reach there and everything becomes a lot more easy. You truly feel like you bowling at 80 per cent and are jogging in but it is coming out. It got to a point where Joe (Root) was like’one more?’ And that I said’yeah’. Afterward’?’
Jofra (Archer) got cramp and I said’I’m still new; I’ll just keep going’. There was no possibility of Joe getting the ball out of my hands the ball came out just how I needed it and because everything felt good running to the crease. These are moments when you have a chance to stand out and really show what you are about and letting Australia understand that even though you’re ahead we are not going to give you a sniff.”
“I feel the most nervous I have ever been was watching Joe Root along with Joe Denly bat; it just came over me all of a sudden. Find a towel and I needed to go into the changing room and place my thoughts I just started biting each one of the thread the towel off. I think that they got to a point where they left it look so simple that your ideas go everywhere. For approximately half-an-hour I’ve never ever felt that anxious before.”
“Hazlewood struck me around the grill but I did not have the stem guards tied properly which is the reason why they blew away anywhere. After you get struck the doctor comes exercising but that I was really absolutely nice so I said’eliminate the area’.
He did ask me if he can do the concussion evaluation, so I said’yeah’ but me, being me’I’m not going to show anything ‘. Australians were asking me’are you okay?’ I didn’t say yes or no. But then Rooty stated’you need to tie them because if they are come off again and hit the stumps you are likely to be outside’.”
“One thing that I attempt to say to the group when we talk about batting would be’have a strategy in mind about how you are likely to play prior to getting out there’. The time that I waited to bat I just said to myself that if I got in, only undergo; do not worry about runs. Because that is the crucial point, keep as many wickets in hand as possible for tomorrow. If Joe and I’re still there tomorrow we’ve got a excellent probability of winning the Test match’.”
“It was very evenly poised and we knew how critical partnerships were going to be. Each 10 runs which people pumped off that total has been subsequently placing pressure. The partnership that I had Jonny (Bairstow) changed back the momentum towards us massively because the runs came in very quick time.”
“I understood Jofra was likely to have peppered so I just said to him’how are you really planning to perform ‘ He moved’then and I’m probably going to duck the first few take them on’. I said’then do it, if that’s what you are going to do’. Subsequently Lyon came on and that he tried to strike him cover. I said’because that is what he is trying to get you to do, don’t even consider cover – it is spinning. If you are likely to hit him, then hit him with the spin towards this boundary.’
He travelled four-four and I explained ‘we have got nine off the more’ and that he went’ok thanks’. Then block. Then I really had to return to him and say whatever you do here, if you’re going to block it hit that dedicate to what you do.’ I do not need to tell anyone how to play unless it is Jack Leach!”
“It was fairly easy with Leachy because I told him I’d take five balls and he’d take you. There were a couple of occasions where he needed to take multiple. He understood that conducts were and that he just had to survive. During that whole partnership if a person was to have got out, I would have enjoyed it to be because it is not his job to violin like this. I didn’t need him to feel as though he’d lost the game. I have been there at the World cup with Woody at which he felt as though it had been his fault – it’s not his job to be present at the end and see his side home.”
“With 70 conducts wanted it was clear I’d have to hit boundaries – carrying twos with everyone bat could take too long; it might give Australia too many opportunities to bowl chunks at Leachy. I was being clear in where I had been trying to hit my boundaries rather than attempt something brand – stick to my strengths and not be concerned about the fielders.
“Playing the reverse-sweep comes from playing with T20 cricket; I’m practising these shots. It is something which I’ve practised and also have experienced success with. When Lyon was out out there in that things I did not know where I was going to hit a border so that I just banged it”
“It was not that I couldn’t watch Leachy because I did not feel he could do it – I simply couldn’t watch. It was such a nervous thing to be part of. Was really nervous when I was facing I was alright but when I was not it. It was excruciating.”
“When it first hit me it obviously flicked my mat. You know as there is if you get hit on the mat you look out and think’ this a batter out’ however, hand on heart, when I overlooked it I thought’that is currently going down leg’.
“A lot has been mentioned about DRS did get it wrong but comes back to making sure you use your testimonials very well. If Australia had one left they would have own. My private opinion in terms of how I felt after I got hit, I genuinely thought it was sliding down leg”
“I’ve got no idea why he started running . Leachy should have believed and because I swept I was getting up to operate. I just remember looking and that I had been close and then watching Lyon drop the chunk was going’what is going on’.”
“Broady said it is the very best video he’s ever seen. The thing that he loves about it most is that Nathan Lyon and me know that the match is won because the crowd haven’t even got up.
“Our reactions reveal you the whole opposite ends of game in terms of emotion. It caught that brilliantly and the audience who had been there alive that all the way through with us the players.”
“I was asking everyone’what was it like up in the changing room when that has been happening’ since you wish to learn what all of the lads were doing. The superstitions All came outside. Then they had the partnership on an iPad from the changing room. So we just sat around watching that. So that was pretty cool; even understanding what had occurred, it was still quite a nervous watch.”
“Leachy took JRoy’s eyeglasses and then just reenacted what he did. The little I laughed at most was at the end of the video where he moves’finish off it, Stokesy’.
“Momentum is massive in sport, especially in cricket. Both groups would have gone through so many emotions on this last moment. So we’ve got the assurance of knowng that we can win from everywhere we stopped coming out on top.
“We will continue that last day we had at Headingley to the very first day at Old Trafford but we are aware there are two matches left. What we managed to perform in Headingley will only be like it felt that day if we are lifting the Ashes at the conclusion of the Oval.”
View Ben Stokes: My Summer So Far on Tuesday on Sky Sports The Ashes, Whilst day among the fourth Ashes Test between Australia and England is currently live on Sky Sports The Ashes.
You can follow over-by-over comment and in-play clips onto our rolling blog on skysports.com along with the Sky Sports program.
Read more here: http://chokhmah.academy/?p=19051