Ben Stokes: Australia v England for the Ashes - all-rounder will 'galvanise' team

Stokes in action for England
Stokes has played in 71 Tests, 101 one-day-internationals and 34 T20s for England

Former England assistant coach Paul Farbrace says Ben Stokes' presence in this winter's Ashes series will "galvanise" the tourists in Australia.

Stokes, 30, has been added to the England squad after taking a break in July to rest his injured finger and prioritise his mental wellbeing.

"He just brings so much," Farbrace told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"I think it has really tipped it into being a fantastic series and I'm excited about it."

Stokes was given the all-clear by his consultant and the England and Wales Cricket Board following a second operation on a fractured finger.

He broke his left index finger while playing for Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League in April and was left out of England's T20 World Cup squad, but has recovered after having a second operation on it in early October to remove two screws and scar tissue.

Farbrace, Warwickshire's director of cricket, says Stokes will provide England with "balance" as they seek to regain the Ashes.

"Every time England have picked a team in the summer, they have tried to balance a team without Ben Stokes," he said.

"We were so fortunate when I was involved with England, that a lot of the time, he was available.

"[England captain] Joe Root and [coach] Chris Silverwood will be delighted to have him back in the dressing room."

'He has dealt with it'

Farbrace says both player and team have benefitted from Stokes' decision to withdraw from England's five-Test home series against India this summer.

"He has made a hugely brave decision personally and he has dealt with it," said Farbrace.

"The England team have allowed him time and space and the fact he is now back in the group, I think it really will galvanise this team.

"The way he is as a person, he brings a lot of confidence and calmness.

"We saw how calm he was with Jofra [Archer] before the super over in the World Cup final, and he does that day in, day out."

Stokes was England's leading run-scorer in the 2019 series between the teams, with 441 runs at an average of 55.12, including an unforgettable unbeaten century that helped secure a memorable win in the third Test at Headingley.

The Durham all-rounder will travel to Australia alongside the Test specialists and the supplementary Lions group on 4 November.

The five-Test Ashes series is due to begin on 8 December and end on 18 January.

England squad for Ashes tour

Joe Root (capt), James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler (wk), Zak Crawley, Haseeb Hameed, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Dawid Malan, Craig Overton, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.


  • 8-12 Dec 1st Test, Brisbane (00:00 GMT)
  • 16-20 Dec: 2nd Test, Adelaide (d/n) (04:00 GMT)
  • 26-30Dec: 3rd Test, Melbourne (23:30 GMT, 25-29 Dec)
  • 5-9Jan: 4th Test, Sydney (23:30 GMT, 4-8 Jan)
  • 14-18 Jan : 5th Test, Perth (02:30 GMT)
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