"I want to play through pain" - Ben Stokes wants to play as specialist batter in fifth Ashes Test

Stokes is dejected after losing his wicket
Stokes is dejected after losing his wicket

England all-rounder Ben Stokes is ready to play as a specialist batsman in the fifth Ashes Test in Hobart despite his injury. Stokes suffered a side strain on day two of the fourth Ashes Test in Sydney. He was forced to leave the field, clutching his left side, during the 14th over of his spell which was then completed by Mark Wood.

Two years ago, Jofra Archer was injured, largely because he was miscast as an enforcer by England.Ben Stokes has been misused in the same way this Ashes tour. The result has been 4 wickets at 71 apiece - and, now, an injury too…

The all-rounder revealed his wish to play the fifth Test, in his column for the Mirror.

He wrote:

“Some people might have an issue with the type of bowling, but it could happen bowling normally and I can’t start worrying about getting injured, otherwise I’m not doing my job properly. Anytime you bowl in a Test match there is a risk of injury.”

The all-rounder didn’t bowl in the fourth Test after picking up a side strain. But he was able to bat in the second innings, scoring 60 off 123 as England managed to eke out a draw.

“The big question now is whether I can play in the final game as a batsman or not. I’m not going to say definitively just yet because there are still a few days to go and we need to see how I respond to the treatment, but what I will say is that I want to play,” the all-rounder further wrote.

He also acknowledged that playing without proper treatment might worsen his injury and put his participation in upcoming tours in doubt.

“If it is a question of playing through a bit of pain, I know it is not going to be as bad as it was in Sydney and I got through that ok. But there are other things to consider such as the West Indies tour to come and the likelihood of doing more damage,” he added.

Jos Buttler and Jonny Bairstow batted after taking pain-killing injections. This inspired Stokes and motivated him to bat longer.

I apologised to Broady, Woody and Jimmy for leaving them with extra work to do: Ben Stokes

The all-rounder didn’t bowl following his injury in the Test which put an even greater burden on the other bowlers.

England at one stage were at 36/4 in the first innings after conceding 416/8. Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow deserves massive credit for their fightback, both were injured and yet scored over 100 runs in the Test to save it.

The medical team had instructed him not to field but Stokes wanted to be on the field to help his side. The all-rounder wrote:

“I apologised to Broady, Woody and Jimmy for leaving them with extra work to do, but they were great and Jimmy just said ‘don’t worry, you can’t help these things.
“The medics and Graham Thorpe suggested perhaps I shouldn’t field, but I felt I needed to be out there to give some support to the team especially when the bowlers were having to step up and bowl my overs.”

Detailing his painful experience, the Englishman wrote:

“I’ve never had a side strain before but when I bowled the ball that caused the low grade tear, it must be what surgery without the anaesthetic feels like, it was agony.
“As painful as it was, amazingly it is not the most pain that I have been in on a cricket field. That will always belong to my broken finger, but this comes a close second.”

The final Ashes Test starts on Friday, January 14. It will be interesting to see if Sthe all-rounder is selected as a specialist batsman or not.

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Edited by Sankalp Srivastava
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