Ben Stokes is natural leader, says Ashley Giles

London: Former English batsman Ashley Giles said on Saturday that Ben Stokes is a natural leader and will support skipper Joe Root in the upcoming Ashes series.

“He is a natural leader and has a great understanding of the game. He will offer tremendous support to Joe Root as part of the senior playing group,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Giles as saying.

Stokes has been appointed as the vice-captain of the English cricket team which will play against Australia in the Ashes beginning next month.

A great asset for England, Stokes adds the dual ability of batting and bowling. In the recently concluded World Cup, England was able to lift the trophy after a long wait of 44 years.

The 28-year-old scored 465 runs for his side in the World Cup and took seven wickets.

“Over the past 18 months, he has come a long way and has shown a great degree of maturity on and off the field,” Giles said.

“I have no doubts that the added responsibility will also help him to continue his rise as a world-class all-rounder in the Test arena,” he added.

England and Australia will compete in the five Ashes Test matches from August 1 to September 16.

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