Image courtesy of: Zimbio
England all-rounder Ben Stokes has said that while “it’s always nice getting compared” to Andrew Flintoff, he is not trying to “be anyone else except myself”.
Flintoff is widely regarded as one of the best all-rounders England produced, and given that Stokes is starting to climb the same ladder, it was only a matter of time before the comparisons started.
It is likely that Stokes is going to be compared to Flintoff throughout much of his career, especially as he has become an integral part of the England squad in all three formats.
“It’s always nice getting compared to that guy,” Stokes said. “Some of the spells he produced when playing for England were amazing to watch.
“I’ve always said that when the comparisons started flying at me I’m not trying to be anyone else except myself.
“As long as I can produce the moments for the team that swing it our way, and it means we’re going to win, that’s all I’m trying to do.
“I’m not trying to live up to anyone else’s reputation or anything like that. I’m just trying to do what I do and trying to keep putting in good performances.”
Meanwhile, Stokes also confirmed that his fitness and confidence levels are on the rise after he was plagued with knee issues earlier on in the year.
“It’s been tough work over the last probably six or seven weeks,” the 26-year-old admitted. “Since the knee trouble I had at the start of the summer in the one-dayers, I found it quite tough to get back to my best, rhythm-wise and pace-wise.
“The big confidence boost was that long spell I bowled at Trent Bridge. It’s all about now, making sure I keep that hard work up and not resting on my laurels just because I’ve had a couple of decent spells.”
In the ongoing Test series against South Africa, Stokes has played an instrumental role in giving England a 2-1 lead going into the fourth and final Test as he has scored 218 runs, which includes a century and a fifty, at an average of 36.33. He has also taken seven wickets at an average of 34.42.