Durham star Ben Stokes ready for Ashes ribbing

Ben Stokes today
Ben Stokes today
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Ben Stokes claims he is ready for whatever Australia’s wind-up merchants have in store for him during this summer’s Ashes.

The Aussies are expected to target the Durham all-rounder, who has already been involved in a number of on-pitch bust-ups in his relatively short international career, when the Investec series gets under way in Cardiff next week.

I don’t go looking for it and I don’t go out of my way to cause an argument.

But the 24-year-old insists he is not about to shy away from any confrontations and said: “I’m definitely expecting some feuds out on the pitch.

“I don’t go looking for it and I don’t go out of my way to cause an argument, but if someone comes at you on the pitch in the heat of the moment and the adrenaline is going then no one in this squad is one to shy away from it.

“We all have different ways of handling it. Some guys walk away from it and don’t get involved but I’ll look them in the eye and probably say something.

“I think it’s a strength of mine. Being in a battle, you don’t want to be the loser. I don’t want to take a backward step and let them know they are on top of me, or that they can say what they want and get away with it.”

Stokes does not have particularly happy memories of his only previous Ashes experience, the 5-0 whitewash Down Under 18 months ago.

But England head into this latest instalment on a high following a remarkable one-day series win and a Twenty20 triumph over New Zealand earlier this summer.

Stokes said: “My Ashes memories are not too good but we are taking a lot of confidence into this series. We are in a really good frame of mind at the moment and we want to carry on the good form that we have strung together.

“One-day cricket is now coming into Test cricket - strike rates are up to 60 or 70. We have a young middle order who like to play their shots. We have the confidence to play how we want to play.”