Captain Joe Root says how Ben Stokes approaches the game on and off the field is now an inspiration for the England team.
Stokes’ unbeaten century led tickets to this highly-anticipated fourth Test at Old Trafford’s first four days are already sold out and England to some win in Headingley to measure the Ashes series.
Root is hoping to get a more comfortable victory for England at Manchester but if it go down to the wire again, he is in no doubt that his vice-captain could drag through the side once more or help inspire others to achieve that.
“One thing that you know about Ben is that if the big events come around, he is going to be there,” Root said.
“He will want to be a part of it, he’s never going to shy away from any sort of struggle, and he has proven this particular summer.
“For him, I think he has only got to keep working and doing exactly what he’s doing – he’s flying right now! He wants to harness bottle this up and make the most of it while he is in this great form.
“He is a great team guy, he’s just one of the men who’ll go out of their way to assist everyone and ensure that they feel as they are prepared. He’ll always offer advice, he’s pioneer and a fantastic participant. He reveals that on the field.
“He has a fantastic balance of knowing when to say the perfect things. He’s very passionate and people are dragged by him . He’s just a good bloke.
“If you mix this with the skill and ability that he has and it’s a great mix and a wonderful inspiration for not only the young men coming into this group but the senior players too.”
Root verified Craig Overton will substitute Chris Woakes in the England XI while Joe Denly will move up to open with Jason Roy as the hosts intention to capitalise on the momentum and goodwill brought about by their win in Headingley, falling down to No 4.
“When you come off a win like this it’s a major lift for the entire squad,” he explained.
“For that game to tease like it did and also for us to turn up here full of optimism and very much living in this series is… I thought how we played the week earlier at Lord’s it began to feel as though we were wrestling our way back in the series and we did a lot of excellent stuff there.
“It felt like last week we left a lot of mistakes and did not quite get it through some human brilliance and some resilience within our batting in the second innings and high-quality bowling, bar the strange spell here or there, we still managed to win.
“In a way, if we can bring those two performances collectively we feel like we’ll be in a excellent place at the end of this week too.”
Watch day one of those fourth Test between England and Australia at Old Trafford from 10am, on Sky Sports Wednesday The Ashes.

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