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By Stephan Shemilt
BBC Sport at Old Trafford
Ben Stokes says that his heroic innings at Headingley will count for nothing if England do not win back the Ashes from Australia.
Stokes’ levelled the series and 135 not out led England to an extraordinary success.
Should they win the fourth Test Australia will keep the urn.
“We have to find the point across that we’ve forgotten around Headingley," said Stokes.
In an interview to be broadcast on the BBC’s Test Match Special throughout lunch on day one of this first Test, the all-rounder added:"This is a message we’ve been drilling into everybody in the group.
“People will talk about it and it’ll come up in interviews, but it will count for nothing if we do not win those Ashes."
As holders, so as to choose the Ashes back down under Australia need to draw on the string.
That means England cannot afford to be beaten in either of the final two Tests in Manchester and in The Oval.
Stokes’ innings kept the show alive as it seemed like England were beaten in Leeds.
The hosts wanted 73 when last man Jack Leach joined him however, between them, the 10th-wicket set took England – the maximum score they have chased to win a Test.
Australia captain Tim Paine admits he has"lost a bit of sleep" pondering what to do about Stokes.
“I haven’t dropped a hell of a lot of sleep considering my captaincy but I have dropped a little bit of sleep believing how we are going to catch him out, that is for sure," he said.
Stokes’ brilliance came after he had been named man of the game in the World Cup final, when England raised the prize for the first time.
He said he doesn’t feel some pressure to keep to reproduce match-winning performances.
“I only go out there and attempt to do what I am paid to do, and that’s score runs and take wickets," said the England vice-captain.
“I obviously know and love what Headingley was, how special that game was, however, I look at it as if I had been really going out there to perform my job"
Stokes did concede that England summer so far – the World Cup was gained after a super over and the end into the Headingley Test was one of the most dramatic of all time – has heightened interest in the match.
“This summer is made cricket larger than I remember it to be the Headingley Test has made cricket go even higher than it had been after the World Cup," he explained.
“You see even tiny little matters, like the variety of individuals who wait at the resort for autographs has gone through the roof.
“That’s something to do with what we have been able to achieve this summer so far."
You can hear the full interview through the lunch period on the first day of the fourth Ashes Test with Ben Stokes on Test Match Special.
Why was Ben Stokes’ Test at Headingley the England win of all time?
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