Home > News >

David Saker backs Ben Stokes to earn place in England squad for Ashes 2013-14

David Saker backs Ben Stokes to earn a place in England squad for Ashes 2013-14

Ben Stokes has been impressive in the domestic circuit with a ton against Yorkshire and 37 wickets with the ball this season for Durham © Getty Images

Sep 8, 2013

Promising England players such as Ben Stokes can use the ongoing one-dayers against Australia to press their Ashes squad claims, according to bowling coach David Saker.

Friday’s opener in Leeds may have been washed out but there are still four matches to go and while England are resting the core of the side that sealed a 3-0 Ashes win against Australia last month ahead of the return series ‘Down Under’ starting in November, places in the tour party are still up for grabs.

One of those pushing for a spot is Durham’s Ben Stokes, who at the age of 22 is in the process of becoming a genuine all-rounder. Stokes has already won 10 One-Day Internationals (ODI) caps, a tally he will look to increase come the second one-dayer against Australia at Manchester’s Old Trafford on Sunday, weather permitting.

But Stokes, New Zealand-born but educated in Cumbria, northern England, where his father Ged, a former Kiwi rugby league international, coached Workington, blotted his copybook when he was sent home early from a second string England Lions tour of Australia in February for persistent late-night drinking.

There are, though, very few genuine all-rounders — players worth a place for their batting or bowling alone — at international level.

However, Stokes has been doing his best to impress by scoring a hundred recently for Durham against County Championship title rivals Yorkshire, and taking 37 wickets in English domestic cricket’s first-class competition as well so far this season.

“I’m sure everyone will be looking at these games a little bit with that [Test] squad in mind,” said Saker, an Australian who was a fast-medium bowler at state level with Victoria and Tasmania before turning to coaching.

“You can’t always read a lot into white-ball cricket for red-ball cricket, but because there are some exciting players in our group, we’re going to have a good look at them.”

Stokes was once thought of as a batsman who bowled but Saker said that was no longer the case.

“His bowling has improved — there is no doubt about that — and we are searching for players who can play that multi-task role,” added Saker.

But he warned expectations of bowlers in one-day matches had to be altered given changes in fielding restrictions. “It’s a really tough ask now, with the limited fielders outside the circle, but he [Stokes] is good enough to do it. No matter how good a bowler you are, you will have days when it’s not easy because you are up against world-class batters.”

As for Stokes’s off-field transgressions in Australia with the Lions, Saker said: “With us, he does all the right things. He’s a good kid — he has that cheeky side to him, and that’s really good to have in a changing room.”

Meanwhile Saker said he enjoyed working with young players such as Stokes. “You can start coaching again, I suppose. With the Jimmys (James Anderson) and Stuarts (Stuart Broad), you’ve probably done all you can with them pretty much.”

“So to get new guys is exciting. It is about getting to know them for one, getting some trust that way, and then just passing on cricket knowledge more than techniques. I like to see how they think about the game and get to know how they think they can get wickets, how they work out batsmen, how they talk about things … find out what they are about.”

Caribbean Premier League, 2014

Jul 11, 2014 (23:30 IST)   at St George's, Grenada

Caribbean Premier League, 2014

Jul 12, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at St George's, Grenada

Caribbean Premier League, 2014

Jul 12, 2014 (00:00 IST)   at St George's, Grenada

Caribbean Premier League, 2014

Jul 17, 2014 (01:00 IST)   at North Sound, Antigua

Caribbean Premier League, 2014

Jul 17, 2014 (05:00 IST)   at Providence, Guyana

More

South Africa in Zimbabwe, 2014

Aug 19, 2014  at Bulawayo

South Africa won by 61 runs

South Africa in Zimbabwe, 2014

Aug 17, 2014  at Bulawayo

South Africa won by 93 runs

India tour of England 2014

Aug 15, 2014  at London

England won by an innings and 244 runs

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 14, 2014  at Colombo

Sri Lanka won by 105 runs

South Africa in Zimbabwe, 2014

Aug 9, 2014  at Harare

South Africa won by 9 wkts

Photos

Highlights of Mahela Jayawardene’s Test career

Videos

Hughes explains technique behind cut shot

Will Duncan Fletcher exit, or will he hang on and risk getting sacked?

India’s coaching saga: Need stable options leading up to the ICC World Cup 2015

Ravi Shastri’s appointment could be the last straw for Duncan Fletcher

Michael Vaughan and his Twitter misdemeanours

Ravi Shastri will be His Master’s Voice; Joe Dawes and Trevor Penney convenient ‘bakras’

England England vs India England vs India 2014 India India tour of England 2014 India vs England India vs England 2014 Pakistan Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka 2014 Pakistan vs Sri Lanka Pakistan vs Sri Lanka 2014 Sri Lanka Sri Lanka vs Pakistan Sri Lanka vs Pakistan 2014

India women, England women face off in World Cup qualifiers

Hashim Amla to be rested from 3rd ODI against Zimbabwe

BKS Iyengar, Sachin Tendulkar’s instructor and yoga legend, passes away at 95

Imran Khan – Nawaz Sharif meeting announcement turns out to be fake

MS Dhoni’s failure in England series mocked by Amul

India tour of Australia 2014-15: 5 ways India can avoid another overseas embarrassment

MS Dhoni can benefit from borrowing the ‘Sourav Ganguly School of leadership’

Ravi Shastri inspired confidence as player and captain: Will he do it in a coaching capacity?

Bernard Tancred: Best batsman of the first South African side

BCCI appoints Justice Mudgal to probe India’s overseas defeats

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

659 Posts | 6 Fans

India tour of England 2014: Sunil Gavaskar says Indian batsmen did not learn anything

Rani Mukerji turns into a photographer!

India women, England women face off in World Cup qualifiers

Dr Harsh Vardhan promises to put healthcare before politics

MS Dhoni can benefit from borrowing the ‘Sourav Ganguly School of leadership’

Gaza war resumes with deadly strikes, rocket fire

Hansika Motwani brings ALS ice bucket challenge to Kollywood!

178 million phones at security risk in Middle East, Africa: Report

How to be in a new relationship after a bad break-up

Karbonn Titanium S19 selfie smartphone featuring a 5-megapixel front-facing camera and Android KitKat launched for Rs 8,999

NHRC notice to Gujarat govt over poor facilities

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here