London - England all-rounder Ben Stokes has said he understands why he's
been compared to Ian Botham and Andrew Flintoff but stressed he is determined
to make his own mark in international cricket.
Botham re-shaped the 1981 Ashes in England's favour with both bat and ball
while Flintoff was the hero of England's 2005 success against Australia with a
series of impressive all-round displays.
Stokes, another big-hitting and lively pace bowling all-rounder, has been
tipped to fill the Flintoff role by current England captain Alastair Cook in
this season's Ashes.
But as England head into Thursday's second Test at Lord's on Thursday with a
1-0 lead following their emphatic 169-run win in Cardiff last weekend, the
24-year-old Stokes was clear about how he saw his England future.
"I'm Ben Stokes; I'm not Flintoff, or (Ian) Botham," he said.
"Being an all-rounder, you're probably going to get compared to the
Bothams and the Flintoffs - as I have done recently," said the Durham man,
who provided one of the rare England highlights during their 5-0 Ashes
thrashing in Australia in 2013/14 with a defiant maiden Test hundred in Perth.
"I'm not looking to emulate them. I'm just going to go about my cricket
in the way I want to do it," declared Stokes, who did exactly that by
scoring the fastest Test hundred ever seen at Lord's last month with a
breathtaking century against New Zealand.
"People can say it is extra pressure, but I do not find there is any
extra on me," he said.
"I am just going to go out there and try to perform. If I don't, then
there will be someone else knocking on the door trying to take my place.
"So now I have got this stable position in the team, I want to keep
For Stokes, England's victory in Cardiff - completed with more than a day to
spare -- was especially sweet following their Ashes humiliation in Australia.
"When Rooty (Joe Root) caught the catch at the end (in Cardiff), it was
New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum accused Australia's David Warner and
Nathan Lyon of "petulance" in trying to delay Stokes's unusual habit
of circling the top-end of his bat in the crease between overs although the
England man simply bided his time in the end before going through with the
"That was pretty silly, I thought, really," said Stokes.
"Rooty said that if they're trying to do that, they must be thinking
we're on top.
"So if they're going to do that for the rest of the series then fair
"I just said 'You can stand there all day because I'm not moving until
you move. If you want to get your captain's over rate down then so be