Ashes 2019: Perfect team-mate Stokes has heart of a lion - Broad

By Sports Desk August 25, 2019

Ben Stokes has the heart of a lion and is the perfect team-mate says Stuart Broad, who admitted he thought the Ashes were over for England.

Stokes made a brilliant unbeaten 135 as England remarkably recovered from 286-9 to chase down 359 and beat Australia by one wicket at Headingley on Sunday, leaving the series level at 1-1 with two Tests to play.

The England all-rounder, who starred in the World Cup final, also took four wickets in the match as he followed his unbeaten 115 at Lord's with another world-class performance in Leeds.

Jack Leach provided vital support with one not out but Stokes went into one-day mode, hitting eight sixes in a blistering innings to secure one of cricket's most dramatic victories.

"It was one of those 'I was there' moments," Broad said to Sky Sports. "It was absolutely spectacular. I don't think anyone in this ground will see a better innings. It had everything. He struck the ball beautifully.

"The bloke has got the heart of a lion. Everything he does is for the team. He is the perfect team-mate. He didn't celebrate his fifty; he didn't celebrate his hundred. He deserves everything that comes his way because he's an incredible cricketer and an even better bloke.

"The emotions of that last hour were outrageous. Cricketers don't go through that in careers - so for some of these World Cup players to go through that twice in six weeks is outrageous.

"The belief has always been there in this game. But nine down, one ball finishes the Ashes series. Of course I thought the Ashes were over."

England won the toss and put Australia in, failing to capitalise on reducing the tourists to 25-2, then making a pitiful 67 all out in response to give Tim Paine's side a huge advantage.

But after Joe Root's 77 built a platform for England's record chase, Stokes spectacularly completed the job and Broad feels his team are now favourites.

"On day one we should have bowled Australia out for 120 to be honest," Broad added. "I apologised to the guys after that.

"67 all out is inexcusable, we didn't show any responsibility, we didn't communicate well. It was really poor.

"Then we could have bowled them out for 150 again in the second innings. It's been a sloppy game for us but one man's heroics has bailed us out and now we all have to step it up.

"Headingley has seen some special Tests over the years, the support was incredible. 1-1 didn't look possible two hours ago and now I am backing us to go on and win it."

Old Trafford hosts the fourth Test, which gets under way on September 4.

Related items

  • Klopp happy with England's handling of Gomez-Sterling bust up Klopp happy with England's handling of Gomez-Sterling bust up

    Jurgen Klopp has no problem with how England manager Gareth Southgate chose to handle the incident between Joe Gomez and Raheem Sterling.

    Gomez and ex-Liverpool star Sterling were involved in a scuffle at St George's Park on November 11, the day after the pair clashed in the Reds' 3-1 win over Manchester City.

    Southgate dropped Sterling for England's 7-0 win over Montenegro, a match in which Joe Gomez came on and was booed by certain sections of the crowd.

    Sterling returned in the 4-0 victory over Kosovo as England wrapped up their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign, though Gomez - who has insisted the matter has been fully put to bed - missed out with a knee injury.

    Klopp expects Gomez to be able to play against Crystal Palace on Saturday if required, and the Liverpool boss is satisfied with how Southgate dealt with the situation.

    "Gomez is better than good, everything is fine," Klopp told a news conference on Friday.

    "If people are not sensible with it, it gets made bigger than it is and we speak about it for five weeks. The people involved are fine.

    "Things like this happen in a football environment. It's a big challenge to ask the boys to give everything against each other and then the next day ask them to play together.

    "There is nothing more to say about it. Gareth and the English FA dealt with it like I think it was right, I cannot judge because I was not in the situation. Joe is absolutely okay, nothing else to say about it really."

    Liverpool's triumph over City at Anfield sent the Reds nine points clear of the defending champions with 12 games played.

  • Blundell on standby to replace Nicholls for New Zealand after batsman takes Archer blow Blundell on standby to replace Nicholls for New Zealand after batsman takes Archer blow

    Tom Blundell is on standby to replace Henry Nicholls against England if the New Zealand batsman is ruled out of the remainder of the first Test.

    Nicholls was struck on the helmet by a bouncer from England paceman Jofra Archer in the penultimate over on day two at Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui.

    The 28-year-old was able to remain at the crease and was unbeaten on 26 at stumps, with the Black Caps 144-4 in reply to the tourists' 353 all out.

    Nicholls will undergo concussion tests and Blundell will replace him if he is unable to continue.

    New Zealand paceman Tim Southee said: "He's a pretty tough character so he'll rest up tonight, a couple of Panadol and be back out there.

    "He'll be assessed later on tonight and again in the morning, that's the protocol.

    "He's shaping up all right at the moment so fingers crossed he'll be right."

    Sam Curran took the big scalp of Kane Williamson for 51 after also removing Tom Latham.

    Ben Stokes earlier top-scored with 91 for England, with Southee taking 4-86 in an opening match of the series that is nicely poised.

  • Centurion Warner insists Ashes failure wasn't about pressure Centurion Warner insists Ashes failure wasn't about pressure

    David Warner insists pressure was never an issue for him despite admitting the Ashes had been a "failure".

    The often explosive batsman showed his talent on the second day of Australia's first Test with Pakistan, closing on 151 not out as the hosts reached 312-1 to lead by 72 runs at the Gabba. 

    It was a remarkable knock from a man who managed just 95 runs in the Test series against England, where Stuart Broad proved his nemesis. 

    But even in the wake of that torrid time, Warner claims he never lost faith in his own ability. 

    "I don't feel under pressure at all," he said after posting his 22nd Test century. "For me it's about going out there and backing my ability. 

    "If you get selected or don't get selected you've got to accept that. The Ashes for me was a failure but I know what I'm capable of doing.

    "I was on the end of a great series by a very good bowler. There was nothing more I could do. I wasn't out of form, I was out of runs. 

    "Today I had a little bit of luck. That's what you need in the game. Over there I didn't have much luck at all."

    Warner endured some tough treatment in England, and not just from Broad, as the home fans were not shy in reminding him of his involvement in the ball-tampering scandal.

    That indiscretion led to a 12-month ban from the sport and Warner used that time to remind himself what matters most.

    "To have that time off and the time to reflect, and just get away from the game ... there is a lot more to life than just cricket," he said.

    "I really just loved the time I spent home with my family. You don't get that when you're travelling all the time. I really enjoyed that time off.

    "Obviously I'm back now and I've got to keep working hard and keep being respectful of the game because it can bite you on the backside very fast."

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.