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.”

South Africa tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Jul 24, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Colombo

India tour of England 2014

Jul 27, 2014 (15:30 IST)   at Southampton

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 6, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Galle

India tour of England 2014

Aug 7, 2014 (15:30 IST)   at Manchester

South Africa in Zimbabwe, 2014

Aug 9, 2014 (13:30 IST)   at Harare

More

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 24, 2014  at Bulawayo

Afghanistan won by 100 runs

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 22, 2014  at Bulawayo

Afghanistan won by 2 wkts

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 20, 2014  at Bulawayo

Zimbabwe won by 8 wkts

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 18, 2014  at Bulawayo

Zimbabwe won by 6 wkts

India tour of England 2014

Jul 17, 2014  at London

India won by 95 runs

Photos

India vs England 2014, 3rd Test

Videos

Shaun Udal on India vs England 3rd Test

India vs England Live Cricket Score 3rd Test Day 2 at Southampton: England begin on positive note

12 little-known facts about Garry Sobers

Pankaj Singh and other Test cricketers from Rajasthan

Pankaj Singh rewarded with India cap for years of consistency at domestic level

Mike Griffith: My choice of Mike Gatting as President of MCC was all about timing

Alastair Cook England England vs India England vs India 2014 India India tour of England 2014 India vs England India vs England 2014 South Africa South Africa tour of Sri Lanka 2014 South Africa vs Sri Lanka South Africa vs Sri Lanka 2014 Sri Lanka Sri Lanka vs South Africa Sri Lanka vs South Africa 2014

Mahela Jayawardene takes 200 catches in Test cricket

Live Streaming: India vs England, 3rd Test, Day 2 at Southampton

Hashim Amla rides South Africa’s hopes to save 2nd Test against Sri Lanka at Tea

India vs England 2014, 3rd Test at Southampton: The ball in England’s court

Kevin Pietersen signs up with Melbourne Stars for BBL

India vs England 2014, 3rd Test at Southampton: Alastair Cook’s innings could be a turning point for England’s fortunes

Michael Holding’s take on Ishant Sharma bowling from Pavilion End — problems with expert opinions

India vs England 2014 3rd Test at Southampton stats highlights: Day 1

India vs England 2014, 3rd Test at Southampton: Gary Ballance fills in the void left by Jonathan Trott

12 little-known facts about Garry Sobers

Fan of the Day

Fan Cricket

Fan Cricket

11 Posts | 2 Fans

Brazil vs Netherlands, 3rd place Fifa World Cup 2014 match Video Highlights

Live Streaming: India vs England, 3rd Test, Day 2 at Southampton

Hashim Amla rides South Africa’s hopes to save 2nd Test against Sri Lanka at Tea

Will Suriya attend the screening of Ajay Devgn’s Singham Returns?

Windows Phone 8.1 GDR1 update to support folders and interactive cases

Apple to acquire radio curating service Swell for $30 million: Report

What’s the best time of the day to have sex?

Fawad Khan to take Sonam Kapoor to Pakistan?

Friendship Day 2014 – 5 healthy gift ideas for your BFF

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here