Ben Stokes did most of the damage with the old ball in hand against Bangladesh    Getty Images
Ben Stokes did most of the damage with the old ball in hand against Bangladesh Getty Images

Former England captain Michael Vaughan has warned England against over-bowling Ben Stokes, which may increase possibility of burn out during the series against India. Stokes was one of the star performers for England against Bangladesh, where he picked up 11 wickets for his side. He was most threatening with the older ball, when there was a bit of reverse swing. He feels getting the ball out of Stokes hand will be difficult for skipper Alastair Cook as he has the ability to bowl long spells, but fears that Stokes might injure himself at some point, considering that it is going to be long Test series. Full Cricket Scorecard: India vs England 1st Test at Rajkot

“Stokes has got that ability to get in the opposing team’s faces with expertise,” Vaughan said during the launch of BT Sport’s cricket coverage. “Many players have tried to wind up the opposition by being forceful and aggressive without having the game [to back it up] but, with Stokes, you just know, every time he goes to the crease, things are going to happen. I think the problem that Alastair will have is getting the ball out of his hands. He wants to bowl, he wants to compete – speak to Paul Collingwood, he bowls marathon spells for Durham, 16-17 overs – and he’s got that ability to produce magic with the old ball. “And even when he’s bowled badly, and sprayed the ball all over the place, he’s always created opportunities. Beefy Botham took a lot of wickets with long-hops and Ben Stokes is very similar, because he’s got that physical presence out in the middle. He does intimidate opposition batsmen, so he will create opportunities.”

Vaughan also stressed on how crucial Stokes is to the team. He pointed out that England lost the two Tests against Pakistan, when Stokes was not part of the playing XI. “The real question is injury,” Vaughan said. “We saw in the summer against Pakistan, he missed the two Tests that England lost [at Lord’s and The Oval]. The Chittagong Test win was 22 runs without Ben Stokes England would have lost. Many would say as a captain, did you go to bed at night and not sleep because of the toss or opposing team. No, the one thing that Cook will be saying at night is: ‘Please, Ben Stokes, don’t get injured’ because he’s that important to the team.” READ: Hardik Pandya, Jayant Yadav in India squad for first 2 Tests vs England

Regardless of the conditions, Vaughan believes that Stokes will get something out of the wicket. “They will have to be wary of the amount of bowling he does in India, but he’s the kind of guy who wants to be in the game. I remember Duncan Fletcher used to say to the team, ‘get in the game’. If the game is flat, do something. That’s the kind of player he is. Whatever the situation, you are looking at him and he’s in the game. Whether at backward point, or on the drive, or with the ball in hand, or striding out to bat. You just know things are going to happen.”