“I have always had the mindset that’it’s never over until it’s over’.”
So says superstar Ben Stokes, who turned into outright brilliance having a 135no which propelled England into a shocking success.
Rob Key caught up with the all-rounder before the fourth Test at Old Trafford to relive one of the greatest Test comebacks ever from Stokes in his own words…
“These are the moments, I guess, that actually test you with regard to where you are as a team. My shot was likely the worst of everybody, to be honest. It was absolutely horrible out of walking out with an optimistic mindset however, it came. I had been in a mindset’when I get whatever here, I’m going to strike itthey were really well that balls are not going to come together as often as they do’.
“We needed to get rid of the disappointment of the innings very quickly and turn our focus to bowling. We did well to bowl them out. Stuart Broad has played with 130 Tests but he obtained so revved up before we bowled and went out. I have seen him get up for an event plenty of occasions like that he had been in the huddle for quite a long time, but I’ve not seen him. I am not going to repeat exactly what he said but basically he said’like we are defending 170 to stay within this Test match we will need to bowl at these men’. He even also got the wicket of all Warner straight away. He had been geed up that he didn’t really celebrate; it had been more like’I 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 would be the hardest because your body’s not going. You truly feel as if you’re running in very hard and whacking the ball down but then you get to there and everything becomes a whole lot simpler. It is still coming out although you really feel as if you bowling at 80 percent and are running in. It got to a point where Joe (Root) was similar to’one more?’ And that I said’yeah’. Then’yet another?’
Jofra (Archer) got cramp and I said’I’m still fresh; I will just keep going’. Then there was no possibility of Joe getting the ball from my hands because everything felt so good running to the crease and the ball was coming out just how I needed it to. Those are moments when you’ve got a chance to stand up and actually show what it is you’re about and allowing Australia know that even though you’re ahead we are not likely to give you a tease.”
“I think that the most nervous I have ever been watching Joe Root along with Joe Denly bat; it only came over me all of a sudden. I needed to go into the room and receive a towel and set my head I just started biting all the thread off the towel. I believe that they got to a stage where they made it seem so easy that your thoughts just go. For approximately half-an-hour I have never felt that anxious ”
“Hazlewood hit me onto the grill but I did not possess the stem guards tied on properly that is why they blew away anywhere. After you get struck the physician comes running out but I was actually nice so I essentially said’eliminate the area’.
I was asked by him if he can do the concussion test, so I said’yeah’ but me, being me’I’m not going to demonstrate anything here’. Australians asked me’are you alright?’ I didn’t say yes or no. But then Rooty said’you will want to tie them on because if they come off and hit the stumps you are going to be outside’.”
“One thing I try to convey to the team once we speak about batting is’have a plan in mind about how you are going to play prior to getting out there’. The entire time I waited to bat I only said to myself that if I got in, just undergo; do not worry about runs. Since that is the point keep as many wickets in hand as you can for tomorrow. If Joe and you’re still there tomorrow we’ve got a wonderful probability of winning the Test game’.”
“It was very evenly poised and we knew how critical partnerships were likely to be. Each 10 runs that people pumped off that total subsequently put pressure. The partnership which I had with Jonny (Bairstow) changed the momentum back towards us massively because the runs came in quite speedy moment.”
“I understood Jofra was planning to get peppered so I just explained to him’how are you really going to play?’ He went’then and I’m likely going to ditch the first few take them ‘. I said’then take action if that is what you’re likely to do’. Then Lyon came on and that he tried to hit him. I said’don’t even look at cover because that’s what he is hoping to get you to do – it’s spinning. If you’re likely to hit on him, hit the spin towards this border against him.’
He moved four-four and I said ‘we’ve got nine off the more’ and he went’yeah, ok thanks’. Then block. Then I had to return to him and convey anything you do here, if you’re going to block it hit that, just devote to what it is you do.’ I don’t wish to tell anyone how to play – unless it is Jack Leach!”
“It was fairly simple with Leachy because I told him I’d take five balls and he would take one. There were a couple of events. He knew that conducts weren’t the problem, he did very, very nicely and that he just had to live. During that entire partnership if a person was to get got out, I would have liked it to be because it’s not his job to violin just like that. I didn’t need him to feel like he had lost the game. I’ve been there in the World cup using Woody where he felt as though it was his fault – it is not his job to be there at the end and watch his side home.”
“With 70 runs desired it was clear I’d need to strike boundaries – taking twos with everybody bat could take too long; it would give Australia too many opportunities to bowl chunks in Leachy. I was being clear on where I tried to strike my borders and not attempt something brand new – stick with my strengths and not worry about this fielders.
“Playing the reverse-sweep comes out of playing with T20 cricket; I am practising these shots. It is something that I’ve practised and also have experienced success with. When Lyon was carried out there in that stuff I didn’t understand where I was about to hit a border so I just banged it”
“It was not that I couldn’t watch Leachy since I didn’t feel that he could do it I simply couldn’t watch. It had been such a nervous matter to be part of. Once I was confronting I was alright but once I wasn’t it was just nervous. It was excruciating.”
“When it first hit me it clearly flicked my front pad. You know as a hitter if you get hit and think’that is out’ but, hand in your heart, when I missed it I thought’this is going downward leg’.
“A lot has been said about DRS did make it wrong but comes back to making sure that you use your reviews very well. If Australia had had one left they would have . My private opinion in terms of the way I felt when I got hitI really thought it was slipping down leg.”
“I have no idea why he started running . Since I swept Lyon I had to get up and Leachy should have believed I was getting up to operate. I just remember looking and he was close and then seeing Lyon drop the ball was going’what’s happening’.”
“Broady said it is the best video he’s ever seen. The thing that he loves about it is that me and Nathan Lyon understand since the crowd have got up 28, the match is won.
“Our reactions reveal you the complete opposite ends of sport concerning emotion. It captured that brightly and the crowd who were there alive that the entire way through with all of the players.”
“I was asking everyone’what was it like up in the changing room when that was occurring’ because you would like to know what all the lads were doing. Each of the superstitions came out. Then they actually had the venture within an iPad from the dining area. So we all just sat around seeing this. So that was quite cool; even understanding what had happened, it was still quite a nervous watch.”
“Leachy took JRoy’s glasses and then only reenacted what he did. The little I laughed was at the end of the video where he moves’finish it off, Stokesy’.
“Momentum is enormous in game, particularly in cricket. Both teams could have gone through many emotions on this previous moment. So we’ve got the assurance of knowng that we may win from anywhere we finished coming out on top.
“We shall carry that previous day we had at Headingley into the first day at Old Trafford but we know there are still two games left. What we managed to do at Headingley will only be like it felt on that day if we’re raising the Ashes at the end of the Oval.”
Watch Ben Stokes: My Summer up to Now on Tuesday at 8pm on Sky Sports The Ashes, while day among those Ashes Test between Australia and England will be live on Sky Sports The Ashes from 10am on Wednesday.
You can follow over-by-over commentary and in-play clips onto our rolling blog on skysports.com and the Sky Sports app.
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