sport news England v New Zealand: Ben Stokes urges his side to be 'EVEN MORE fearless' ... trends now

sport news England v New Zealand: Ben Stokes urges his side to be 'EVEN MORE fearless' ... trends now
sport news England v New Zealand: Ben Stokes urges his side to be 'EVEN MORE fearless' ... trends now

sport news England v New Zealand: Ben Stokes urges his side to be 'EVEN MORE fearless' ... trends now

Ben Stokes loomed large at Headingley on Wednesday both on the big screen, where highlights of his miracle demolition of Australia three years ago were being shown, and on the outfield as he promised more of the same against New Zealand in Thursday's third Test.

After victory at Lord's Stokes wanted England to be 'even more positive than positive' and now after an epic win at Trent Bridge he has told them to think of themselves as entertainers rather than sportsmen. The mind boggles as to what England will do next.

How extraordinary to think that the 2019 Leeds game - 'it was nice to see the highlights being played when we got here,' said Stokes - was almost eclipsed by what this new England team did against New Zealand last week. How intriguing it will be, too, to discover where this journey will lead over the coming months and years.

Ben Stokes loomed large at Headingley on Wednesday on the big screen and on the outfield

Ben Stokes loomed large at Headingley on Wednesday on the big screen and on the outfield

Stokes wants England to be 'even more fearless and aggressive' than at Trent Bridge

Stokes wants England to be 'even more fearless and aggressive' than at Trent Bridge

For now all sights are on what would be a remarkable 3-0 clean-sweep of the world Test champions and any suggestion of bowlers being rested for next week's encounter with India were dispelled when England named their strongest possible side. Gone, clearly, is the rotation policy that got them into such a pickle under Joe Root and Chris Silverwood.

That side will not include Jimmy Anderson, who has a 'puffy ankle' but is expected to be fit to face Virat Kohli and company at Edgbaston.

But it does include a captain who will clearly not let a trifling illness stop him from leading this suddenly transformed England side.

'I was just ill,' said Stokes when asked what had kept him away from practice on Tuesday. 'But I've had two negative Covid tests and that's why I'm standing here now.'

England have named their strongest possible XI for Headingley but James Anderson is out with a 'puffy ankle'

England have named their strongest possible XI for Headingley but James Anderson is out with a 'puffy ankle'

Jonny Bairstow showed the all-out attacking philosophy instilled by Stokes and Brendon McCullum

Jonny Bairstow showed the all-out attacking philosophy instilled by Stokes and Brendon McCullum

The England captain, who bemoaned his absence from the team barbecue put on by Jonny Bairstow on Tuesday night, was far happier talking about the all-out attacking philosophy instilled almost overnight by himself and new coach Brendon McCullum.

'There's a reason why nearly 20,000 came to Trent Bridge to watch us on the last day,' said Stokes. 'So I've set a challenge to the team to be even more fearless, positive and aggressive than last week. If we keep doing good things on the field we will attract a new pool of fans to the game. That's all we can do, it's what we're good at.'

Anything similar to the miracle of 2019, the Trent Bridge classic or even the original miracle of

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