Cricket Expert & Columnist
Ashes 2013/14: Ben Stokes at start of what could be an long England career
Durham all-rounder making his mark by exuding confidence in both disciplines...
Last Updated: 03/01/14 9:00am
Stokes, who made his debut in the second Test at Adelaide, followed up his hundred at Perth with his maiden five-wicket Test haul in Sydney where Australia rallied from 97-5 to 326 after being put in.
The Durham all-rounder bowled opener Chris Rogers (11) and found the edge of Michael Clarke's bat before breaking a 128-run sixth-wicket stand between Brad Haddin (75) and Steve Smith (115) and removing Ryan Harris and Peter Siddle in consecutive balls.
"I thought Ben rolled his sleeves up and put in the hard yards," Hussain told Sky Sports News. "I don't like building players up too much but he's done very well on this tour when other people haven't.
"To go to the WACA and get the hundred that he did there on a pitch he would never have dreamt of batting on up at Durham [was excellent]; he's then come here and seen Boyd Rankin go off the pitch [injured] and backed up that hundred with six wickets.
"At times he also fell into the trap of bowling short but he gets good players out. He bowled a beauty to get Michael Clarke out and he pitched the ball up after that and he blew the tail away. So he'll be one England player going back to their hotel room thinking 'I've had a good tour'.
"Ian Botham tells us that generally with an all-rounder if one of your disciplines is working well, that will give you confidence in the other. So hopefully for Ben this is the start of a very long career as England's all-rounder."
England, 4-0 down, picked three debutants for the first time since 2006 bringing in seamer Rankin, batsman Gary Ballance and spinner Scott Borthwick in their bid to avoid a whitewash.
That meant there was no place for Joe Root, Monty Panesar or Tim Bresnan and while Hussain said he would have preferred to have seen Root keep his place, his disappointment was tempered by Ian Bell's promotion up the batting order.
"Ian Bell has always been a natural number three," he said. "I know he played a poor shot second time around at the MCG but in the summer he was England's best batsmen and he should have been batting there all along since Jonathan Trott went home.
"I know he's no David Warner or Shane Watson but he just gives them a little bit dynamism. So it comes down to which player you leave out - Carberry or Root.
"They've gone for Carberry and I don't think it was an absolute disgrace. Some people will say 'Joe Root should play' and I would be one of those even if there aren't that many runs between them in this series.
"Carberry, in fact, has got the better record in this series but the key stat as far as I was concerned is that Carberry is 33 and Joe Root is 23, so I would have stuck with Root.
"I don't think Carberry has done too much wrong but the future is Root. Joe had his chance in the last four games and Carberry will have his chance in the second innings."
England have now used 18 different players in this Ashes, a record for England in an away series, and a number that equals the 18 players used by the West Indies squad that lost 5-0 to South Africa in 1998-99, which was a record for any country away from home.
Not since 1993, when England brought in Graham Thorpe, Mark Lathwell, Mark Ilott and Martin McCague for their first game have England blooded so many debutants in an Ashes Test but Hussain hopes that the gamble will help the tourists to discover "a gem".
"In 2006 in Nagpur they brought in Alastair Cook, Ian Blackwell and Monty Panesar - and they found Cook. In my era in Johannesburg in 1999, we had Michael Vaughan, Gavin Hamilton and Chris Adams - and we found Vaughan.
"So hopefully one of these three new lads - if not all of them - will go on and have long international careers."
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Catch highlights of today's play from midday - and On Demand from 6.30pm - on SS2 before the Ashes Verdict returns at 9pm. The Ashes Extra is back at 10.30pm with Ian Ward ahead of our live coverage of day two.