London, Sep 21: Former England Test cricketer Paul Collingwood has said that it is yet too early for young all-rounder Ben Stokes to come through for England, even though Stokes is an outside bet to feature in England’s Ashes party when it is announced on Monday at Lord’s.
Durham stalwart Collingwood, who spent the best part of two years carrying the drinks after playing his first two Tests against Sri Lanka in 2003, was famously brought in to replace the injured Simon Jones for the crucial fifth Test in the 2005 Ashes series.
According to The Independent, although Collingwood believes that Jonny Bairstow has been given the opportunity at the moment, he is of the opinion that Stokes will make an impact for England in the next couple of years despite taking five wickets and a quickfire 27 in the deciding one-dayer against Australia at the Rose Bowl last week.
Collingwood also dismissed Stokes’ comparisons with former England captain Andrew Flintoff, saying that it is still early for him to reach that level, although he added that if Stokes works out his game, he could stay in the England team for a long time.
However, Collingwood hailed his younger Durham colleague, who scored nearly 600 runs and taking 37 wickets in the County Championship at an average of 25.35, saying that Stokes can take some of the workload off the three seamers as he is an all-rounder and has power, strength, talent and loves the competitive nature of the game.
Collingwood also said that even though Stokes needs to work a lot as he is only 22, he has is a good fielder, is able to swing the ball both ways and bat lower down the order, although he added that England has got the right team for the return Ashes in Australia at the moment even without Stokes. (ANI)