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Ben Stokes looks to build 'strong squad' capable of regaining Ashes down under

Ben Stokes has led England in 24 Test matches thus far with 14 wins and nine losses to his name. The Three Lions have been a part of a solitary draw under the leadership of Ben Stokes.

Edited By: Kumar Rupesh @afiestysoul New Delhi Updated on: July 10, 2024 12:37 IST
Ben Stokes.
Image Source : GETTY IMAGES Ben Stokes.

England's red-ball captain Ben Stokes has made his intentions clear that he wants to build a "strong enough squad" that could "not just compete with Australia" but beat them in the 2025-26 Ashes down under. 

The flamboyant allrounder wants England's Test squad to take every step in the right direction and be battle-hardened to win back the biggest silverware in the history of England and Australia's cricketing rivalry.

"I'm not going to lie: I want us to be able to take a squad out there that I know is going to go at Australia," Stokes said ahead of the Lord's Test against West Indies. "I'll be nearly four years as captain when we go out there. I want to be able to go out there knowing we've done everything possibly right over these 18 months, to go out there with a strong enough squad to not just compete with Australia, but to beat them."

"It's probably the first time you've heard me speak like that about something so far away, but again it goes back to our progression as a side," he added. "I want this team to progress over the 18 months, so I'm focusing on that, because I want us to go out to Australia and win the Ashes back."

Stokes also responded to the criticism that England haven't won a single Test series in the last 18 months by saying that his team found itself on the wrong side of the outcome by a whisker on a few occasions and that made a massive difference.

"Let's just take that in," responded Stokes. "Before the last four Tests in India, we won (the first Test) in New Zealand (in February 2022), then lost the second Test by one run. We came back from 2-0 down against Australia, had a drawn match (at Old Trafford) because of weather. (Saying that) we haven't won a series in that time, I think is going into it a bit too much.

"I won't lie, those last four matches in India were incredibly disappointing, but going at it like that is a bit uncalled for. There's so much that goes into winning a Test match. We go out there to win, but we put a focus on the way we play our cricket, knowing that we have found a way that brings the best out of us as individuals and a team."

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