While the Australian head coach Justin Langer is happy about the fact that Ben Stokes, one of the best cricketers of the modern era, will be on show during this Australian summer, he has admitted that he has still not forgotten the nightmare that was inflicted upon the Australian team by Stokes in the Headingley test match of 2019.
Ben Stokes had won the Headingley test match for England from almost an unwinnable position with an extraordinary last wicket partnership with Jack Leach. More than 70 runs were required by England when they lost their 9th wicket in the 4th innings of Headingley test and everyone thought the test match was done and dusted.
But, Stokes had other ideas as he went on an absolute rampage with fierce boundary hitting to all parts of the ground and with a contribution of merely one run from Jack Leach at the other end, he chased the target down to ensure a shocking victory for England.
The result of the Headingley test match didn’t affect the result of the Ashes eventually as Australia still went on to retain the Ashes with a 2-2 scoreline, but it didn’t overshadow the heroic efforts of Stokes.
Justin Langer has more nightmares about the marathon spell bowled by Ben Stokes than his hundred
Recalling the previous Ashes, Langer said while the hundred at Headingley is something he can never forget, what he can also not forget is the marathon spell that Stokes bowled in the second innings to keep England in with a chance in the game.
The hosts had conceded a huge lead in the first innings and while they were trying to bundle Australia out quickly in the second innings, they needed someone to hold one end so that they didn’t leak a lot of runs and Stokes bowled 25 overs for England in the holding role.
“I still have nightmares about his innings in the third Test. I suppose more nightmares about his spell on day three of that game,” Langer was quoted as saying by Fox Sports.
To put on that kind of a bowling effort and then come out and score a hundred to win the game from an unwinnable position, it was not just a performance which kept England alive in the Ashes of 2019, it was also one of the greatest performances ever in the history of test cricket.
There was a possibility that Ben Stokes might not play in the upcoming Ashes in Australia due to mental health issues, but he declared himself fit just in time.