“I won’t give clichéd answers to anything,” Ben Stokes assures. “I don’t say things just for the sake of it.” This is comforting to hear from an England captain who has spent the past 17 months shredding the orthodoxy of how Test cricket is supposed to be played. Just as he captivates the nation with his wacky field placements, or his Goliath-like power as a batsman, or his refusal even to consider drawing a match, he is happy for an hour-long conversation to take some unexpected directions. Not
England have taken a stranglehold on Pool D after delivering comprehensive victories over Argentina and Japan but, for different reasons, neither performance set the tournament alight.
The Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag said: ‘It’s always 50-50; the club and me both have a veto,’ while Raphaël Varane could return against Burnley