Former England captain Nasser Hussain was excited to see the return of star all-rounder Ben Stokes in the England Test squad for the upcoming Ashes 2021-22 in Australia. Hussain reckoned Stokes’ comeback is a significant boost for England as they hope to regain the Ashes for the first time since 2015.
“I had a break to prioritise my mental wellbeing, and I got my finger sorted. I am looking forward to seeing my mates and being on the field with them. I’m ready for Australia,” said Stokes in the ECB statement.
Stokes had earlier ruled himself out of international cricket to prioritise his mental wellbeing and rehab the finger he injured playing in the IPL earlier this year. He is also not part of England squad for the ongoing T20 World Cup 2021.
Hussain observed that Stokes is irreplaceable in any format and one of the greatest all-rounders in the world. The cricketer-turned-commentator felt Stokes is going to Australia fully prepared after the finger injury.
“It’s great news for England that they have their talismanic cricketer back in the side. Ben is virtually irreplaceable in any format; he is one of the great all-rounders in world cricket. It is also great news for Ben himself, physically, and more important, mentally,” said Hussain as quoted by Sky Sports.
“He is going to Australia early and with pretty much full preparation for a full Ashes series, hopefully. I think they will need to ease him back in with the bowling, but with the batting, as long as that finger is fine, then I think he will be able to come straight back in,” he added.
Hussain asserted England needed Stokes in Australia to challenge the hosts as the Christchurch-lad does what England greats Ian Botham and Kevin Pietersen used to do against the Aussies.
“He is the type of cricketer you need against Australia, someone to look them in the face and take them on. You think of Sir Ian Botham, you think of Kevin Pietersen. Australia like to go after players that back down – Stokes definitely won’t do that,” Hussain added further.