Ben Stokes says he will only take satisfaction from his heroic innings at Headingley if England can complete a series turnaround to win the Ashes.
The 28-year-old hit an unbeaten 135 as England snatched victory on Sunday from a seemingly impossible position in Leeds to level the series at 1-1.
“I don’t think it’s completely sunk in; the main reason is we have two games to go,” Stokes said to Sky Sports News.
“If we don’t get the Ashes back, what will it feel like?”
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After England were beaten in the first Test in Edgbaston and were held to a draw Lord’s, they needed to avoid defeat at Headingley to stay in with a chance of regaining the Ashes.
That looked unlikely when Stuart Broad’s dismissal on Sunday left England 73 runs short of a target of 359 with only one wicket left, but Stokes led the way to a remarkable victory.
It means the series remains alive with matches at Old Trafford and The Oval to come.
As holders, Australia will retain the urn if the series is drawn.
“I will only take real satisfaction from the innings if we win back the Ashes,” Stokes said.
“It was an amazing week in Headingley and something that will be very hard to forget, but we still have a long way to go.
“Momentum is huge in sport and I’m 100% sure when Stuart Broad got out, Australia would have thought they would have the Ashes by the end of the day, so we go into the next match with a lot of confidence.”
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Smith unconcerned by facing Archer again
Australia are set to name a side including Steve Smith, who retired hurt after being hit by a bouncer from Jofra Archer in the second Test, and was ruled out of the contest at Headingley.
The 31-year-old said that the incident brought to mind the death of fellow Australia batsman and close friend Phillip Hughes, who was struck by a similar short ball in a domestic match in Sydney in 2014.
“I had a few things running through my mind, particularly where I got hit,” said Smith.
“Like a bit of the past sort of came up, if you know what I mean, from a few years ago. That was probably the first thing I thought about.”
Smith has averaged 126 in his three innings in the series so far and says he will not change anything in his approach when facing Archer.
“There’s been a bit of talk that he’s got the wood over me but he hasn’t got me out,” said Smith.
“All the other bowlers have had more success against me, I dare say. I’ve faced them a bit more but they’ve all got me out a lot more, so, yeah, pretty comfortable about that.”