“I have always had the attitude that’it is never over until it’s over’.”
Says celebrity Ben Stokes, who turned belief into genius at Headingley with a stupendous 135no which propelled England.
Rob Key caught up with the all-rounder ahead of the fourth Test at Old Trafford to relive one of the best Test comebacks of all time from Stokes within his own words…
“Those are the moments, I figure, that really test you in terms of where you are as a group. My shot was probably the worst of everybody, to tell the truth. It was dreadful from walking out with a positive mindset, but it came. I had been in a mindset of’when I get anything loose , I will attack it; they were bowling well that balls aren’t likely to come ‘.
“We needed to eliminate the disappointment of that innings very fast and turn our focus to bowling. We didn’t bowl them out for 179. Stuart Broad has played with with 130 Tests but he obtained so revved up before we bowled and went outside. I have seen him put up for an occasion plenty of times like that he was in the huddle for quite a long time but I have not seen him. I am not likely to repeat what he said but basically he said’like we’re currently defending 170 to remain within this Test match we need to bowl in these men’. He also got the big wicket of Warner immediately. He had been so geed up he did not really observe; it had been more like’I’ve put what I’ve said and I’m likely to set the platform for it’
“I’ve bowled long bouts before in Test matches. Five overs or the initial four are the toughest because your body is not going. You truly feel like you’re operating in hard and whacking the ball down with whatever you’ve got in your own entire body; but you reach there and everything becomes a great deal more easy. You truly really feel as if you’re jogging in and bowling at 80 percent but it is still coming out quicker. It got to a stage where Joe (Root) was like’one more?’ And I said’yeah’. Afterward’yet another?’
Jofra (Archer) got cramp and I said’I am still fresh; I will just keep moving’. There was no chance of Joe getting the ball from my hands because everything felt really good running into the crease and the ball was coming out just how I needed it . Those are moments when you’ve got a opportunity to stand out and really show what you’re about and allowing Australia know that though you’re ahead we are not going to give you a tease.”
“I feel that the most nervous I’ve ever been watching Joe Root along with Joe Denly bat; it came over me all of a sudden. Get a towel and I had to go into the room and put my head inside ; I just started biting the thread all the towel off. I think they got to a point where they made it seem so simple that your thoughts go everywhere. For around half-an-hour I’ve never ever felt that anxious ”
“Hazlewood struck me onto the grill but that I still did not have the stem guards tied properly that is why they blew off everywhere. When you get struck the doctor comes exercising but I was actually absolutely nice so I said’get off the area’.
I was asked by him if he can do the concussion test, so I said’yeah’ but me, being me that was just like’I am not going to demonstrate anything here’. Australians were asking me’are you alright?’ I didn’t say no or yes. But then Rooty stated’you want to tie them on because if they are come off and hit the stumps you’re going to be outside’.”
“One thing I attempt to convey to the team when we talk about batting is’have a strategy in your head about how you are going to play before you get out there’. The time I was waiting to bat I only said to myself if I got in, just get through; do not worry about runs. Because that is the point, keep as many wickets in hand for tomorrow. If Joe and I’re still there tomorrow we have got a terrific likelihood of winning the Test game’.”
“It was quite evenly poised and we knew how critical partnerships were going to be. Each 10 runs which we believed off that total was then putting pressure. The partnership which I had Jonny (Bairstow) changed the momentum back towards us hugely since the runs came in very speedy time.”
“I understood Jofra was going to get peppered so I simply said to him’how are you really going to play?’ He moved’and I am probably going to duck the first few take them ‘. I said’then take action, if that is what you are going to do’. Lyon came on and he tried to strike him through cover. I said’since that is what he’s hoping for you to perform, do not even look at cover – it’s spinning. If you are likely to hit on him, hit all the twist towards that boundary against him.’
He moved four-four and I said to him’we’ve got nine the more’ and he went’yeah thanks’. Then block. Then I had to go down to him and say whatever you do here, if you’re likely to block it hit it devote to what you do.’ I really don’t wish to tell anyone how to play unless it is Jack Leach!”
“It was fairly easy with Leachy because I told him I would take five balls an over and he would take you. There were a few events where he had to take more than one. He understood he just had to survive and that conducts weren’t the issue, which he did very nicely. During that whole partnership if somebody was to have got out, I would have enjoyed it to be because it is not his job to bat just like this. I didn’t want him to feel as though he had lost the game. I’ve been there at the World cup using Woody in which he felt as though it had been his fault – it’s not his job to be there at the end and see his side home.”
“With 70 runs desired it was apparent I’d have to hit boundaries – taking twos with everybody bat could take a long time; it would give Australia a lot of chances to bowl balls at Leachy. I was really being clear in where I was trying to strike on my boundaries rather than attempt something brand new – stick to my strengths rather than be concerned about this fielders.
“Playing the reverse-sweep comes out of enjoying T20 cricket; I am practising all these shots. It’s something which I’ve practised and have had success with. When Lyon was bowling out there in that things I didn’t understand where I was about to strike a boundary so that I just banged it.”
“It wasn’t that I couldn’t watch Leachy because I didn’t feel he can do it I simply could not watch. It was a matter to be part of. Once I was confronting I was fine but once I wasn’t it was really worried. It was unbearable.”
“When it first hit me it clearly flicked my front pad. You know as a batter if you get hit on the mat you look outside and think’this is out’ however, hand in your heart, once I overlooked it I thought’that will be currently going downward leg’.
“A lot has been mentioned about DRS did get it wrong but comes back to ensuring you use your reviews very well. If Australia had one left they would have . My personal opinion in terms of the way I felt after I got hit, I really thought it was slipping down leg.”
“I have no idea why he started running . Leachy should have believed and Since I reverse swept Lyon I needed to catch up I was getting up to run. I only remember looking and that I was shut and then seeing Lyon drop the ball I was going’what’s going on’.”
“Broady said it is the best video he’s ever seen. The thing that he loves about it is that me and Nathan Lyon know the game is won since the audience have got up however.
“Our responses show you the whole opposite ends of sport in terms of emotion. It captured that brightly and the crowd who had been there alive that the whole way through with all of .”
“I was asking everybody’what was it like up at the changing room when that has been happening’ because you would like to know what all of the lads were performing. The superstitions All were coming out. Then they actually had the partnership in an iPad in the living space. So we sat around watching that. So that was rather cool; even understanding what had happened, it was quite a nervous watch.”
“Leachy shot JRoy’s glasses and then only reenacted what he did. The little I laughed at was at the close of the movie where he goes’complete it off, Stokesy’.
“Momentum is enormous in sport, especially in cricket. Both groups could have gone through so many emotions on that previous day. We finished coming from top so we’ve got the confidence of knowng which we may win from anywhere.
“We will continue that previous day we’d at Headingley to the very first day at Old Trafford but we all know that there are still two games left. What we managed to do in Headingley will only be like it felt on that day if we are lifting the Ashes at the conclusion of their Oval.”
Watch Ben Stokes: My Summer up to Now on Tuesday at 8pm on Sky Sports The Ashes, Whilst day one of this fourth Ashes Test between Australia and England is live on Sky Sports The Ashes from 10am on Wednesday.
It is possible to follow over-by-over comment and in-play clips on our rolling site on skysports.com and the Sky Sports program.
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