Ben Stokes: England won’t change mindset despite South Africa captain Dean Elgar’s comments

Ben Stokes: England won't change mindset despite South Africa captain Dean Elgar's comments

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Ben Stokes insists England will not change their aggressive style of cricket in the upcoming Test against South Africa and avoided comments from South African captain Dean Elgar.

Ben Stokes insists England will not change their aggressive style of cricket in the upcoming Test against South Africa and avoided comments from South African captain Dean Elgar.

England men’s Test captain Ben Stokes insists the team’s attack mentality will not change for their three-Test series against South Africa starting at Lord’s on Wednesday.

Under Stokes and new head coach Brendon McCullum, England won four Tests in a row to start the summer, sweeping New Zealand in their three-match series, chasing scores of more than 275 in each Test, then beating the India with a record chase. of 378.

South Africa captain Dean Elgar has been the latest to comment on England’s new style which has been labeled ‘Bazball’, saying: “I don’t see there being longevity in gritty cricket.”

But Stokes has reiterated the message to his team, keen to see the “venom” in their approach still after five weeks out of white-ball cricket.

England vs South Africa

August 17, 2022, 10:00 a.m

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“The opposition seems to be doing a lot of talking at the moment,” Stokes said. “We just focus on what we do.

“We have a style of play, they have a style of play. At the end of the day, it’s bat versus ball and whoever plays a Test match better is more likely to win.

“I’m happy that Dean and the South African team are still saying they’re not interested, but they’re also still talking about it.”

We've picked out some of our favorite moments from the Test matches leading up to South Africa's tours of England

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We’ve picked out some of our favorite moments from the Test matches leading up to South Africa’s tours of England

We’ve picked out some of our favorite moments from the Test matches leading up to South Africa’s tours of England

Stokes added: “For me it’s just about reiterating the points we were making at the start of the summer, our mentality, attitude and all that, about how we go out and play cricket.

“Personally, I think that’s the most important thing right now for this team. To believe what we talk about in the locker room, to go out there and try to live up to what we say.

“It’s felt like we’ve been away from each other for a long time – obviously there’s been a lot of different cricket, different formats played, so there’s a lot of excitement to be back, seeing everyone and remembering everyone what we got and stick to our guns.

England skipper Ben Stokes says James Anderson is still one of the best in the world and joked the fast bowler could play into his 60s.

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England skipper Ben Stokes says James Anderson is still one of the best in the world and joked the fast bowler could play into his 60s.

England skipper Ben Stokes says James Anderson is still one of the best in the world and joked the fast bowler could play into his 60s.

“It’s about making sure that this five-week period doesn’t mean we’ve lost the poison. It would be easy to have that much time to almost forget where we managed to find ourselves.

“The results will speak for themselves. If we play at the level we have done in the last four Test matches, we know we will give ourselves a great chance to win the game.

Enjoy the sound of Jonny Bairstow's bat as we look back at all his England caps this summer.  Courtesy of @englandcricket on Twitter

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Enjoy the sound of Jonny Bairstow’s bat as we look back at all his England caps this summer. Courtesy of @englandcricket on Twitter

Enjoy the sound of Jonny Bairstow’s bat as we look back at all his England caps this summer. Courtesy of @englandcricket on Twitter

Foakes returns for the first Test with England’s only change

Wicketkeeper Ben Foakes returns to the starting eleven, replacing Sam Billings, in the only change for the first Test at Lord’s after he missed the win over India at Edgbaston with Covid.

Stokes said he was also happy with his own fitness, having struggled with a knee problem earlier in the summer.

Ben Foakes returns to England XI after a bout of Covid kept him out of the India Test at Edgbaston earlier this summer

Ben Foakes returns to England XI after a bout of Covid kept him out of the India Test at Edgbaston earlier this summer

“Everyone in the starting eleven, who you’ll see tomorrow, the shirt is theirs at the moment,” Stokes said.

“I look at the team as a whole and it’s a very exciting place to be in as captain and as a manager, as myself and Baz. [McCullum] keep saying We feel like we have all the bases covered.

“Definitely, you’d rather be there than scratch your head thinking ‘who are we going to pick?’

“It was a pretty easy decision based on our previous four performances.”

Zak Crawley, Alex Lees, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes (c), Ben Foakes, Stuart Broad, Jack Leach, Matthew Potts, James Anderson

Regarding the knee, Stokes added: “It’s been a long process with it but we’ve got an amazing medical team. I’m very pleased and happy with where I’m at at the moment. It’s just about keeping it going.

“I had two weeks off after my one-day retirement. I’ve recovered really well and I’m really excited to be back tomorrow.”

Elgar: Then something from the past | We can kick England out

At the South Africa captain’s press conference ahead of the first Test, Elgar refused to be drawn back into England’s style of play following Stokes’ comments.

“With all due respect, I’m not really going to entertain it anymore,” he said.

South Africa captain Dean Elgar refused to comment again on England's new style of cricket ahead of the first Test.

South Africa captain Dean Elgar refused to comment again on England’s new style of cricket ahead of the first Test.

“We’ve talked long and hard about it – I really just want to get on with cricket. The game deserves that respect.

“It’s a thing of the past for me now. We’re not going to go back and do it again.”

Elgar added: “I think what they did, the conditions were very good for batting in those specific Tests.

“They did some really unique things a couple of months ago to chase the scores they did. I was blown away too, it was pretty impressive, but I’d like to think that with the bowlers we’ve got, even if the wickets are pretty flat , we have all the bases covered.

“I’d like to think we can take them out even if they come chasing again. I’m pretty sure.”

South Africa are hoping to get Kagiso Rabada back to full fitness for the first Test as he recovers from an ankle injury.

South Africa are hoping to get Kagiso Rabada back to full fitness for the first Test as he recovers from an ankle injury.

“It might be hard work for us, but that’s what we’re here for. We’re not here to play soft-natured cricket. We want it to be tough, tough and hopefully the results will come our way.”

South Africa are yet to announce their squad for the first Test as they await the fitness of fast bowler Kagiso Rabada, who has suffered an ankle injury.

Elgar said: “KG [Rabada] he’s been going really well the last few days, he’s very close to being fully fit for this test, although that’s subject to the final announcement,” he concluded.

Watch England’s first Test against South Africa live on Sky Sports The Hundred on Wednesday. The build-up at Lord’s starts at 10am with the first ball at 11am.


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