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Ben Stokes is England’s ‘heartbeat’ and brings balance for Ashes, says Nasser Hussain

Ben Stokes is the “heartbeat” of the England set-up and brings much-needed balance to the team ahead of the Ashes series, according to former captain Nasser Hussain.

Stokes, 30, took a hiatus from the England team in July to rest his injured finger and protect his mental wellbeing.

But he is noq set to return later this year after being added to the squad for the upcoming Ashes series in Australia.

Stokes has been given the all-clear following a second operation on his fractured finger and is eager to make his mark on his return to the team.

And Hussain believes the all-rounder, who won the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award for his performances in 2019, is a vital cog in the England wheel.

In his column for The Mail, Hussain wrote: “Stokes is absolutely vital to the England team.

“His addition to the Ashes squad will give everyone a lift. It is not just his immense contribution with bat, ball and in the field but his sheer presence.

“He is the heartbeat of that side and suddenly England’s hopes of succeeding in the series have improved dramatically. Stokes is the ultimate team man and the England players will be thrilled to have him back.”

England will begin their Ashes tour of Australia on 8 December when the first Test gets underway in Brisbane.

The five-Test series will run until the middle of January, concluding in Perth on 18 January.

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