Ben Stokes will not bowl for England in fifth and final Test of Ashes series against Australia

It has been revealed on the eve of the fifth and final Test of the Ashes series between England and Australia that the home team captain Ben Stokes will not be available in the match, which day is a huge blow to the plans for the home side which is looking to square the series being currently behind by a margin of 1-2.

England were in a commanding position to win the fourth Test match at Manchester but rain played spoilsport on the fifth and final day which meant that Australia currently has a lead of 2-1 and is aiming for their first ever series victory in England since 2001.

England had earlier on Wednesday made a controversial call when they selected veteran fast bowler James Anderson for the fifth and final Test to be played at the Oval from July 27, given that the right-arm fast bowler has struggled for rhythm and wickets throughout this Ashes series. 

James Anderson, who will turn 41 at some point in time in the fifth and final Ashes Test match, he is not getting any younger and only occupying space of another talented fast bowler, for example Joshua Tongue.

Former England captain Michael Vaughan had opined a few days ago that England are making sentimental decisions by playing James Anderson in the ongoing Ashes series, but the 40-year-old is struggling to attain form and fitness for the all-important series which England have not won for four editions at a stretch now.

Ben Stokes has not bowled for England from the second Test onwards when he pushed himself for a long spell of 12 overs at the end of Australia second innings. 

He was spent after the Lord’s Test since he batted for close to five hours on the fourth and final days to make 155 and during the third Test match at Headingley, Ben Stokes had made it clear that he will not be able to fulfil his role as an all-rounder in the English side. 

Ben Stokes was quoted as saying by,

“It’s something I obviously want to get sorted. The times in which I’ve seen specialists and stuff like that there has been cricket around. So, as it’s been manageable, we’ve just cracked on.

The England captain said that maybe it is time to have another conversation with the medical staff in the English side so that he is able to manage his knee injury and is also going to fulfil his role as an all-rounder.

“But I think that is a good time to have some serious conversations with medics around what is potentially something I could do to get a role in which I can bowl without having to worry about my knee. Those are conversations we will be able to have in that time off,” said the left-handed batter who has batted excellently for England in this Ashes series. 

Ben Stokes is also expected to play for the Northern Superchargers in the Hundred but England captain has confirmed that he is going off on a vacation and is not able to play anymore in the remaining part of the English summer. 

 “I’m going on holiday after this game. That’s as far as I’m thinking,”

he said. 

“It’s something I’ve done since I was a kid. Wanting to be involved with the game is something that’s got the best out myself. I said in Wellington, after that game, that it has been frustrating in the last couple of years not being able to have the same impact and play the same role that I have done for the last 10 years,”

said Ben Stokes, adding that he is disappointed for not being able to bowl for England in the ongoing Ashes series. 

For England, it will be a long break in Test cricket as their next assignment is only in January 2024 when they will be touring India for a crucial five match Test series which will be played at every non-conventional Test venue in India.

Ben Stokes said,

”It is a big break – I think the biggest that I will have had in my whole career, except with injury. You enjoy the periods where you do have a break… but doing this for as long as we have done, you really do miss that environment when you’re around the other lads.”