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‘No reason why’ England cannot beat Australia – even without ‘bonkers’ Ben Stokes, says Jonny Bairstow

‘No reason why’ England cannot beat Australia – even without ‘bonkers’ Ben Stokes
Jonny Bairstow hopes Ben Stokes returns to the England fold as soon as possible (Picture: Getty)

Jonny Bairstow insists there is ‘no reason why’ England cannot beat Australia this winter and retain the Ashes.

In the last series Down Under three years ago, England were thrashed 5-0 and Steve Smith’s side are the strong favourites to clinch the urn once again over the coming months.

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But Bairstow is confident England can not only avoid another whitewash but in fact secure a surprising series victory under captain Joe Root.

‘Last time we went we got absolutely annihilated, which wasn’t ideal,’ wicketkeeper-batsman Bairstow told the Independent.

‘No reason why’ England cannot beat Australia – even without ‘bonkers’ Ben Stokes
The ECB have suspended Stokes until further notice (Picture: Getty)

‘At the same time, we had a group of players then that there was a lot of other things going on with that.

‘Now I firmly believe we’ve got a group of players that are excited about going, excited about the challenge and relishing the challenge.

‘If we’ve done our preparation and done our practice, then there’s no reason why we can’t go over there and bring back the Ashes.’

Bairstow has enjoyed a fine 18 months for England and appears to relish the chance to bat alongside the currently suspended Ben Stokes.

‘No reason why’ England cannot beat Australia – even without ‘bonkers’ Ben Stokes
Bairstow played one match in the 2014-14 Ashes series (Picture: Getty)

‘We’ve shared some quite entertaining partnerships together and hopefully we’ll continue to do so for many years to come,’ Bairstow added.

‘I think it’s fuelled by being ginger; it’s something that’s ingrained. We’re both bonkers. Just let him do what he wants to do.

‘If he wants to try and slog it out the ground on the second ball, let him do it because nine times out of ten it will come off.

‘My two first hundreds that I’ve got for England, test at Newlands and ODI at Old Trafford, it’s been with him.

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‘It could have been quite easy for him to come running over and everything like that but he just said, “this is your time.”‘

On whether Stokes will feature for England this winter as they head to Australia to defend the Ashes, Yorkshireman Bairstow said: ‘I don’t have a clue what’s going on.

‘As far as we’re concerned, we’re hoping for him to be out in the Ashes as soon as possible.’

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