LEEDS – England captain Joe Root praised “freak” Ben Stokes for one of the greatest of all match-winning test innings and believes the all-rounder's epic has helped instil fresh belief in his side that they can now go on to regain the Ashes.
Stokes plundered eight sixes in his astounding innings that fashioned a wholly unlikely one-wicket win for England, bringing the five-match series level at one-all, with everything to play for in the final two tests.
Stokes produced all manner of gloriously improbable shots, from a reverse sweep for six to a flick over wicketkeeper Tim Paine's head for another maximum, with Root struggling to comprehend just how he had worked his wonders.
“It was ridiculous, wasn't it?” Root said, with a smile. “Ben Stokes is a freak, he's incredible.
“After Stokes got to 60, 70 he looked like he wasn't going to get out. To win a game on your own from there is just amazing. He does have recent experience of doing it. Just incredible to watch unfold.