Australian Steve Smith hails the return of Ben Stokes, his ‘dangerous’ ash rival | Cricket News


Australian Steve Smith hailed Ben Stokes’ return to the England cricket team.© TBEN

Australian drummer Steve Smith has hailed Ben Stokes’ return to England’s Ashes team, saying the versatile talismanic makes Joe Root’s side a “more dangerous” proposition. Stokes announced this week that he will be available for the round of five tests in Australia after taking a break from cricket to deal with mental health issues and a nagging finger injury. Smith acknowledged that Stokes’ presence would be a huge boost for England, who enter the hit series as an underdog after repeatedly failing to fire Down Under. “We love playing against the best players and it’s great to hear that he’s going to get on the plane,” Smith told Australian reporters in the United Arab Emirates, where he is competing in the Twenty20 World Cup.

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“I think any team is more dangerous when you have someone like Ben Stokes playing it adds a lot to their depth… it should make for a really good run.”

Smith said that on a personal note, he was happy Stokes dealt with his mental health issues after retiring from the game in July.

“Thank you Ben for being able to make that decision, to walk away and make sure he’s right to be able to go out and play and live his life,” he said.

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“There is sometimes more than just the game of cricket, for him to be able to make that decision to step down and the acceptance of the ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board) and everyone involved I think it’s really important. “

Smith said he was picking up his pace in batting practice due to an elbow injury, but didn’t expect it to be a problem for the Ashes, who are due to start in Brisbane on December 8.

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“I’m still taking it easy at the moment, just making sure I only hit two days in a row, not three days in a row,” he said.

“I’ll be rebuilding myself as we get closer to playing longer format stuff.”

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