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Ashes 2021 | Ben Stokes return will send shivers up Australian spines, states Michael Vaughan

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Ben Stokes has announcement his return to professional cricket with Ashes 2021-22

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Ashes 2021 | Ben Stokes return will send shivers up Australian spines, states Michael Vaughan

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SportsCafe Desk

10/26/2021

Michael Vaughan has said that the return of Ben Stokes to professional cricket ahead of the Ashes 2021-22 'will send a few shivers up local spines'. Stokes, who took an indefinite break from cricket in July this year for mental health reasons, on Monday made himself available for Australia tour.

The star all-rounder also used the time to get his finger operated for the second time since injuring it during IPL 2021 in April. 

Ben Stokes was not included in coach Chris Silverwood's initial squad for the series down under. However, the England and Wales Cricket Board said on Monday, however, that Stokes would be available for the series, which is due to start on December 8.

Former England captain Michael Vaughan has expressed his delight on the return of the 30-year-old and said that Joe Root's side now have a chance to beat Australia in their own backyard. Vaughan recalled Stokes' heroics at Headingley in Ashes 2019, saying that Australians fear the Christchurch-born. 

"Ben Stokes's return for the Ashes is huge," Vaughan wrote in his column in the Daily Telegraph.

"Without him, I would not have given England a chance in Australia; with him, they have a glimmer of hope -- and maybe a bit more than that.

"Stokes is the engine of this England team, the guy who powers them. Not only does he contribute massively himself, he lifts the performances of those around him, inspiring, cajoling and driving up standards."

Regarded as one of the greatest batting displays in this century, Stokes hit 135 not out, smashing the ball to all parts of the ground in a virtuoso display that included eight sixes, to give Joe Root's team a thrilling one-wicket victory.

"Crucially, he is also a player Australia fear," added Vaughan.

"The scars he inflicted on them at Headingley two years ago will not have fully healed, and the sight of him walking out at Brisbane -- or wherever he manages to play his first test -- will send a few shivers up local spines."

Steve Smith welcomes Ben Stokes 

Australia bating mainstay Steve Smith has also welcomed Stokes and said that England will now be a more dangerous side. 

"It's great that he's now available," said Smith.

"Anytime someone comes back from (mental health issues), it's a great thing and we love coming up against the best players, so it's great to see him going to be on the plane.

"I think any team's more dangerous when you've got someone like Ben Stokes playing.

"It certainly adds a lot to their depth, but we're excited and I'm glad personally that he's able to be back playing some cricket. It makes for a really good series," Smith added. 

The first match of the Ashes 2020-21 will be played from December 8 in Brisbane.

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