England v New Zealand: Ben Stokes urged England to be ‘more positive’ Yorkshire News

Stokes and new head coach Brendon McCullum promised their reign would be based on an attacking style of cricket that would entertain supporters and they kept their word at Lord’s last week.

They threw aggressively, fielded vibrantly and hit with a sense of freedom that carried both risk and reward. The outcome could have gone either way, with the sides trading control of the game for the first three days before Joe Root’s winning century settled things on the fourth morning.

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Stokes named an unchanged XI, with Jack Leach cleared to return after a concussion and retaining his place ahead of substitute Matt Parkinson, and confirmed his outlook was similarly unchanged. When the battle resumes in Nottingham on Friday, he has made it clear that he sees no room for conservatism or timidity in his team.

England’s Ben Stokes (centre) during a netting session at Trent Bridge. Image: AP.

“The message from me to everyone is to be even more positive than last week,” he said.

“If you look at the result, we ended up winning, but we are not comfortable with where we are. Let’s always look to try to be better.

“One thing I’ve learned from the way Eoin Morgan captains the one-day team is that he’s just looking to be more positive, in defeat or victory. Look, I can’t complain about the way someone behaved last week, it’s just a simple message and it’s something that we’re trying to filter into everything we do: always seek to be positive.

“First of all, I think everyone should look to enjoy their moments of representing England, then the results will come and take care of themselves. I just want everyone to enjoy every moment, whether it’s on the training ground or playing for England.”

Stokes made it clear he never considered leaving Leach out after his first home appearance since 2019 was cut short by a freak borderline crash on the first morning at Lord’s.

The left-arm spinner rarely felt fully supported under the previous regimen, coming in and out of the team unpredictably, but as soon as the medical staff gave him the go-ahead, he got the go-ahead.

That meant Parkinson bows out after his unexpected debut, with Yorkshire’s Craig Overton and Harry Brook once again missing the cut.

“It was very unlucky for Leachy last week. He was so excited to start the summer,” Stokes said.

“This week was easy, once the doctors and Leachy said he was ready to go. We were waiting for the decision on his physical condition.”

Victory at Nottingham would give England their first series victory in six attempts, putting them back on track nearly 18 months after they defeated Sri Lanka at home.

Stokes’ predecessor Root spoke after his hundred at Lord’s about the cost it had taken him to lead the team through that long and difficult sequence, but for now both men seem comfortable in their new positions. Stokes eagerly charting his own path as skipper and Root released after relinquishing leadership.

“I went through that whole journey with Joe, especially in the last two years. We had some private conversations on tour about that sort of thing,” Stokes revealed.

“Being the captain of England is more than what you do on the pitch. It may end up taking him home and it may affect his personal situation, which Joe was very brave to say. But without that added pressure of being captain, it was almost like he was 18 again last week. It’s great that he doesn’t have that added mountain of pressure of being the captain on his shoulders, he can just go out there and score the runs like he does.”

One player who took his chance at Lord’s was Durham’s young seamstress Matthew Potts, who claimed seven wickets on his debut. Ben Stokes has asked for patience regarding the 23-year-old but hopes Potts can make a similar impact at Trent Bridge.

Stokes: “The way it started last week was obviously unbelievable. It was pretty much a dream debut for him, but I think the most important thing from a senior player’s point of view, and even for coaches, is to make sure he continues to improve. And, if things don’t work out this week, it’s not the beginning and the end.

“But he’s a fantastic competitor, that’s why he got a chance to play.”

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This notice was published: 2022-06-09 18:02:09

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