Ashes 2017: England can win against Australia without Ben Stokes, says Mitchell Johnson

England can retain the Ashes in Australia without talismanic all-rounder Ben Stokes, claimed former Aussie bowling star Mitchell Johnson.

AFP, Oct,23 2017

London: England can retain the Ashes in Australia without talismanic all-rounder Ben Stokes, claimed former Aussie bowling star Mitchell Johnson.

Stokes will not travel to Australia with the rest of the England squad when they fly out next Saturday as he waits to learn whether he will face criminal charges over an incident outside a night club in September, but has not been ruled out of the five-Test series, which starts on 23 November.

File image of England's Ben Stokes. Reuters

File image of England's Ben Stokes. Reuters

However, Johnson -- the spearhead of the Aussie attack in their crushing 5-0 series win in Australia in the 2013/14 series when he took 37 wickets -- said his former team-mates should not take victory for granted if Stokes is not able to join the squad.

"I don't think you can read too much into what people are commenting on 'no Stokes, no England'," Johnson told the BBC radio programme 'Tuffers and Vaughan' hosted by former England stars Phil Tufnell and Michael Vaughan.

"I think England can win without him. I think at a contest at that high level, anyone can win.

"If you're Australia, you don't want to be thinking they can't win because Stokes isn't there -- that can bite you in the backside pretty quickly."

Johnson, 35 and who retired from all formats of international cricket in November 2015, said he still believed his compatriots would win and that the England batsmen -- many of whom are not au fait with Australian pitches -- will face a barrage from the pace bowlers.

"I'm still confident that Australia can win the series, but the performances recently haven't been great from both sides," he said.

"The wickets are a little bouncier and faster, so some of these new guys might find it harder, and that's where the Australian bowling attack is strong."

Published Date: Oct 23, 2017 | Updated Date: Oct 23, 2017




Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 5313 121
2 South Africa 4484 115
3 Australia 4174 104
4 New Zealand 3489 100
5 England 4829 99
6 Sri Lanka 4374 95
Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 7594 122
2 South Africa 6911 117
3 England 6871 116
4 New Zealand 6550 115
5 Australia 6376 112
6 Pakistan 4877 96
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 3272 126
2 New Zealand 2807 122
3 India 3385 121
4 Australia 2173 121
5 West Indies 2538 115
6 South Africa 2238 112