Heaping praise on England all-rounder Ben Stoles, former Australia captain Ricky Ponting believes that in order to win the Ashes, the visitors need to keep Ben Stokes quiet.
Ponting said he saw a lot of maturity in Stokes during the World Cup and is the 'real heartbeat' for England at the moment.
The all-rounder put on a star performance to help England lift the coveted World Cup trophy for the first time.
"It seems like he's playing with a lot of maturity," Ponting told cricket.com.au. "He doesn't seem like he's in much of a rush now as he might have been.
"The thing about his personality as well, he's a big, strong, brash guy with a bit of an ego … and I think as a younger person probably everything was flat out – one speed.
"To me, (during the World Cup) it seems like he (was) able to understand situations and play situations accordingly. That's a bit of maturity and understanding his own game and understanding what his team needs him to do."
Stokes had missed the 2017/18 Ashes due to his involvement in the Bristol brawl which saw him attend court. He was found not guilty of affray.
With the Ashes commencing early August, Ponting compared Stokes to former England cricketer Andrew Flintoff, stating that they were the go-to guys whenever the Three Lions were in trouble.
"He's a key man and more a key man because I think he's that real heartbeat for their team, a bit like 'Freddie' Flintoff in Ashes series gone by – whenever they were in trouble and they needed something, they tend to go to those sort of guys, and Australia need to keep him quiet if we're going to win the series.
Stokes has been the talk of the town since his heroics led England to clinch the World Cup as he has been nominated for New Zealander of the year award alongside Kane Williamson. He is also in contention to receive knighthood as both Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt expressed their desire to give him 'knighthood'.