Home Cricket Ben Stokes Speaks Out About Captaincy, Team Dynamics, and Upcoming Australia Challenge in The Ashes

Ben Stokes Speaks Out About Captaincy, Team Dynamics, and Upcoming Australia Challenge in The Ashes

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Ben Stokes leadership

Summary of Ben Stokes’ opinions about his Ashes colleagues
The inaugural Test of Men’s Ashes 2023
Location: Edgbaston Dates: 16-20 June
Media: Real-time text commentary and live video snippets on the Sport Newes Center web & app platform, alongside BBC Test Match Special on BBC Sounds and BBC Radio 5 Sports Extra. Daily highlights of Today at the Test on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer from 19:00 BST.

A handful of captains have instigated as profound a change in their team’s performance as Ben Stokes has for England.

Before Stokes assumed captaincy in April 2022, England had managed to secure only one win out of 17 Tests. Under his leadership, the team won 11 out of 13 matches.

Stokes, at the age of 32, has established an exceptional alliance with head coach Brendon McCullum. He credits making the sport “as enjoyable as possible” for the dramatic transformation in the team’s performance.

After prevailing in home series against New Zealand and South Africa, securing an unprecedented win in Pakistan, and managing a 1-1 draw in New Zealand, the eagerly awaited Ashes is next.

Australia, who haven’t won a series in England since 2001, enter this challenge as Test world champions after a noteworthy victory over India at The Oval, winning by 209 runs.

Stokes shared his thoughts on leadership, team ethos, and the task of competing against Australia in a conversation with Isa Guha on BBC Test Match Special.

TMS podcast: Ashes won’t alter our tactics – Stokes
‘A consistent element in me’

Stokes, formerly the deputy to Joe Root who commanded the team from 2017 to 2022, believes maintaining his original approach to the game has been pivotal in his successful leadership.

Stokes shared that authenticity is key. “Remaining genuine to myself, to the way I’ve always approached things as a player and now as a captain, was the cardinal rule I established when I first assembled the Test team under my leadership.”

He further commented on the importance of consistency, “If I had suddenly altered my behavior upon becoming captain, it would have raised suspicions among my teammates, given my history of 85 or 86 games with them.”

While the forthcoming Ashes generate buzz, Stokes asserts that the team’s procedure and mindset take precedence over results.

“In my pre-series routine, the bottom item on my checklist is always the outcome,” he explained. “We focus on executing everything above that on the list, and the result takes care of itself.”

Stokes, who was acquitted of affray charges in September 2018 following an incident at a Bristol nightclub, had to miss the 2017-18 Ashes in Australia. Post his return, he was acknowledged as the Sport Newes Centers Personality of the Year in 2019 for his pivotal role in England’s World Cup triumph and a game-changing century against Australia in the Ashes.

In July 2021, Stokes took a break from cricket to focus on his mental health. He believes his experiences, both on and off the field, enable him to connect better with his team.

Stokes commented on his empathetic approach, “Given my own experiences, I feel I can relate to a broad spectrum of situations. Be it during a match or off-field, I believe I can be relatable to people facing challenges.”

‘Fun is our mantra’

During their impressive winning spree, Stokes’ approach to fostering a positive team culture has been straightforward: Make it fun.

“We always ensure that everything we do, whether on the field or off it, brings us joy,” he said.


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