“The big test to Bazball is against the Australians” – David Gower wants Ben Stokes to deliver in Ashes
David Gower wants Ben Stokes and Co. to deliver in the Ashes. He wants England to continue playing their fearless brand of cricket everywhere around the world. The former England captain, however, warned that the Aussies have a strong bowling line-up to give them a stiff challenge.
The statement comes as Stokes guided England to nine victories in the last 11 Tests. England recently completed a 3-0 whitewash in Pakistan. They also won the Test series 2-1 against South Africa and 3-0 against New Zealand at home.
Speaking to Gulf News, Gower said:
“The big test to Bazball is against the Australians, the chance that we could do it or not comes up in the next few months. It is going to be interesting. Australia have a very strong bowling attack and have their own exciting batters and have their own positive approach to the game.”
“England will start feeling positive about the chances, that’s the whole culture. They are frightened of losing again because they back themselves to keep winning elsewhere.”
Gower, meanwhile, praised Stokes for reinventing the England cricket team in Tests. He stated:
“Who would have believed in these events in the last 12 months? He has developed into a magnificent leader and the part [Brendon] McCullum plays works beautifully. The way they have transformed the England Test team in a matter of weeks when he took over, has been just unbelievable.”
England last won the Ashes (3-2) in 2015 at home. They drew the series 2-2 in 2019. On the other hand, Australia beat England 4-0 in their backyard in 2021/22. They also won 4-0 and 5-0 at home in 2017/18 and 2013/14.
“Outshone” – David Gower rates Ben Stokes above Ian Botham
David Gower has said that Ben Stokes outshone Ian Botham with his contributions to England cricket. The former England captain pointed out his match-winning innings in Headingley to draw the Test series against Australia and his World Cup-winning performance in the 2019 final.
“Ben is an extraordinary player, I can’t put it any higher. Ben in some ways has outshone Botham, I suppose. The innings of 81 in Headingley in 2019 was awesome. He changed from stonewall defense to outright offense, it’s a one-off, but brilliant. Then the World Cup final at Lord’s hinged on Stokes’ innings.”
Gower also wants Ben Stokes to come out of his ODI retirement for the upcoming 2023 ODI World Cup. He said:
“Everyone would love if Ben Stokes plays in the ODI World Cup, someone who is growing up to be a remarkable individual. If they want to have a proper go at winning the World Cup again, then the best thing they could do is to persuade him to be part of the team again.”
The 2023 ODI World Cup is scheduled to take place in India in October-November.