Ben Stokes’ England remind me so much of Australia in the nineties, says David Lloyd


BUMBLE ON THE TEST: Ben Stokes’ England remind me so much of Australia in the 90s and the penny has clearly dropped with Ollie Robinson… but I can’t pretend this summer has been easy for me

  • There’s been a massive turnaround for English Test cricket this summer 
  • Ben Stokes has led the charge and immediately stamped his authority on side 
  • I’m so glad England are picking the best people for the here and now 
  • I expect two batters to get talked about as squad members for Pakistan series 

England needed just 25 minutes on the final day of the deciding Test against South Africa to complete a nine-wicket victory against the Oval.

It means Ben Stokes’ men have won six of their seven home Test matches this summer in what represents a complete turnaround in their red-ball fortunes. 

After England finished off the home international summer in emphatic style, Sportsmail columnist David ‘Bumble’ Lloyd picks out his talking points. 

England sealed a 2-1 series victory against South Africa with a nine-wicket win at the Oval

Farewell to caution

There’s been a massive turnaround for English Test cricket this summer. The caution has gone and quite right too because caution never won Test matches. 

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There is a new identity now. Take the opposition on, full in the face, and let’s see where that takes us. 

There will be ups and downs and we all have to be on board with it but it’s refreshing and exciting.

We’re just like Aussies!

Ben Stokes has led the charge and immediately stamped his authority on the side. Six out of seven results have gone his way and his methods are there for all to see. 

This reminds me so much of Australia in the Nineties. Get your runs as quickly as possible and leave it to the bowlers. 

They had Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath but England have a top-quality attack too.

Ben Stokes has led the charge and immediately stamped his authority on the side

Ben Stokes has led the charge and immediately stamped his authority on the side

Great Zak joined party

One of the most pleasing aspects is that eventually the openers Zak Crawley and Alex Lees have come to the party. 

They had one last chance in this final innings and they took it. I’ve been listening to Vernon Philander on Test Match Special and he has reminded us how difficult it is to bat against the Dukes ball in England. We must remember that.

Here’s to you, Mr Robinson

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Another big plus for England in this series has been Ollie Robinson. 

The penny has clearly dropped with him that he had to get fitter to make the most of his obvious talent as a bowler at the highest level. 

Someone has clearly got into his ear and told him he could be a world-class performer and he seems to have gone away and done what he had to do.

The penny has dropped with Ollie Robinson to make the most of his obvious talent

The penny has dropped with Ollie Robinson to make the most of his obvious talent

Hameed back in frame

I’m so glad England are picking the best people for the here and now and letting the future take care of itself. 

Now they look ahead to their next Tests in Pakistan. I expect two batters to get talked about as squad members. 

Keaton Jennings and Haseeb Hameed have had decent county seasons and would supplement this line-up.

Old firm off to Pakistan

And how about the old firm of Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad? It seems clear now they will be around for next year’s Ashes and Stokes will want them there. 

So I’d expect both to go to Pakistan as long as Stuart’s family situation allows. Pakistan have a good pace attack so maybe bowlers will hold sway again. 

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I don’t expect dust bowls that’s for sure.

It seems clear Jimmy Anderson (L) and Stuart Broad (R) will be around for next year's Ashes

It seems clear Jimmy Anderson (L) and Stuart Broad (R) will be around for next year’s Ashes

I’m still standing…

It’s been a different summer for me outside of the commentary box and I can’t pretend it’s been easy. 

Of course I’ve missed it and I haven’t been as well as I’d like either but hopefully I’m on the mend.

It’s been a pleasure to carry on bringing you my thoughts in this little column and I’ve been overwhelmed by public support. Thank you all. I’m still standing!

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