Ben Stokes reckons rain-affected Test will aid England at Manchester

Tags: The Ashes 2023, England vs Australia, 4th Test at Manchester, Jul 19-23, 2023, Australia, England, Benjamin Andrew Stokes

Published on: Jul 19, 2023

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England captain Ben Stokes reckons that a rain-affected fourth Test match of Ashes 2023 at Old Trafford in Manchester will aid the hosts. According to Stokes, if weather shortens the game, it will suit England more because they know what they need to do.

The fourth Ashes 2023 Test begins on Wednesday, July 19. Rain is forecast over the weekend for the Test. There were some rain interruptions during the third Test at Headingley as well. England benefited from the same as they bundled out Australia cheaply in the second innings under overcast conditions. The hosts then chased down 251 to win the match by three wickets and stay alive in Ashes 2023.

Speaking to BBC Sport ahead of the fourth Test, Stokes asserted that if weather interrupts proceedings, they would be at a greater advantage than the visitors. He explained, "It helped us in the last game knowing that we had to press the game on to stay in the series. If the weather does look like it's going to have an effect on the time in the game, it probably suits us even more because we know what we need to do.

"We can't just go hopefully, we have to look to press this game on. Everyone understands we will potentially be looking to press this game on even more if the weather is what it's predicted to be," he added.

England named their XI on Monday, making just one chance to the team, veteran pacer James Anderson replacing Ollie Robinson. The former was rested for the Headingley encounter after struggling in the first two Tests in which he only claimed three wickets.

The England captain, however, backed Anderson (40) to come good in another must-win encounter for the hosts. He commented, "I've got no doubt that at some point this week Jimmy Anderson will be very crucial for us. When you're a world-class performer for such a long period of time you can understand the frustration for him that he has not felt like he has contributed.

"He's not taken nearly 700 wickets without going through two games of not feeling at his best. World-class performers bounce back and deliver," the all-rounder added.

England have never record from a 0-2 deficit to win the Ashes. However, Stokes asserted that if they take the series to the decider at The Oval, this edition would rank as one of the best Ashes of all time. The England captain added, "If we win this one then going into the last game at 2-2, it would be hard not to say this is the best men's Ashes series in a long time, if not the best.

"Overall, take away Australia and England, the cricket that's been played has been absolutely brilliant. Everyone who's watched at the ground or at home on TV has just really enjoyed the cricket that's been played.”

The fifth and final Test of Ashes 2023 will be played at The Oval from July 27 to July 31.

--By A Cricket Correspondent

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