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Sport The England star giving Langer 'nightmares'

09:17  05 december  2021
09:17  05 december  2021 Source:   wwos.nine.com.au

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Australian coach Justin Langer still has "nightmares" about Ben Stokes, but is glad the England star will play a part in the Ashes.

Stokes etched his name in Ashes folklore in 2019 with an instantly famous innings of 135 to win the game for England, shocking the Aussies and breaking millions of hearts Down Under in the process.

His performance at Headingly was so epic, Langer revealed it haunts his dreams to this day.

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"He's a great cricketer, no doubt about that," Langer told media on Saturday.

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"I still have nightmares about his innings in the third Test (in 2019). I probably have more nightmares about his spell on day three of that game."

England's Ben Stokes celebrates winning the third Ashes Test match at Headingley, Leeds, 2019. © AP England's Ben Stokes celebrates winning the third Ashes Test match at Headingley, Leeds, 2019.

England had been bowled out for a measly 67 and was well behind Australia's first-innings score, but Stokes took control with three wickets and some fiercely fast bowling, before taking up the bat and icing the incredible win.

Stokes was originally left out of England's Ashes squad this time around as he battled to overcome a finger injury, and then took an indefinite break from cricket to focus on his mental health.

But he dropped a bombshell on Australia when he made a sudden dash to the airport and joined the team on their flight Down Under to compete in the sport's greatest rivalry.

England aim to take pressure off Stokes

  England aim to take pressure off Stokes Ben Stokes has been hailed as England's potential Ashes saviour but teammates will do their best to take the pressure off the champion allrounder.Stokes made a successful comeback to cricket last week, taking 2-31 and hitting an unbeaten 42 from 56 in a warm-up game against the England Lions.

His spot in the opening Test remains in doubt, though, and wasn't strengthened when he was hit on the arm during a net session a week ago.

And as much as Stokes has the ability to cause pain to the Aussies, Langer hopes he lines up at the Gabba.

"He's an unbelievable athlete, a great competitor and it's great for the game of cricket that Ben Stokes is playing Ashes cricket," Langer said.

"We all love it. It's an Ashes summer and it probably wouldn't be the same without the best players.

"Hopefully, his health is good, we welcome him out here because he's one of the superstars of the game."

England is yet to unveil its XI for the series opener.

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