Ben Stokes reveals David Warner Headingley Ashes inspiration
Watch day one of the first Test between New Zealand and England, live on Sky Sports Cricket from 10pm on Wednesday, November 20
Last Updated: 14/11/19 4:15pm
Ben Stokes has revealed how David Warner’s interjections from the slip cordon during his Ashes innings at Headingley inspired him to score an unbeaten 135 in the third Test.
Warner returned to the Australia side following a year-long ban for ball-tampering, with the opening batsman seen by many as a reformed character.
But writing in an extract from his new book, On Fire: My Story of England's Summer To Remember, serialised in the Daily Mirror, Stokes has revealed how Warner may have retained some of his combative ways in an Ashes series that saw him make just 95 runs in 10 innings.
Stokes scored just two runs in 50 deliveries on the evening of the third day in Leeds before going on to score a century that helped level the series 1-1 in dramatic circumstances as England successfully chased down 359 for victory.
"I had extra personal motivation due to some things that were said to me out on the field on the evening of day three when I was trying to get through to stumps," Stokes wrote.
"A few of the Aussies were being quite chirpy, but in particular David Warner seemed to have his heart set on disrupting me.
"He just wouldn't shut up for most of my time out there. I could accept it from just about any other opponent. Truly. Not from him, though.
"The changed man he was adamant he'd become, the one that hardly said boo to a goose and even went as far as claiming he had been re-nicknamed 'Humble' by his Australia teammates, had disappeared.
"Maybe his lack of form in his new guise had persuaded him that he needed to get the bull back?
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"Although he'd enjoyed a prolific World Cup campaign, he had struggled with the bat at the start of the Ashes and was perhaps turning to his old ways to try to get the best out of himself. The nice-guy act had done nothing for his runs column.
"I muttered 'Bloody Warner' a few times as I was getting changed. The more time passed, the more it spurred me on.
"All kinds of ideas of what I might say to him at the end of the game went through my head. In the end, I vowed to do nothing other than shake his hand and say 'Well done' if I could manufacture the situation.
"You always shake the hands of every member of the opposing team at the end of a match. But this one would give me the greatest sense of satisfaction."
Watch day one of the first Test between New Zealand and England, in Tauranga, live on Sky Sports Cricket (channel 404) and Sky Sports Main Event (channel 401) from 9pm on Wednesday.