Ashes 2013-14: Steve Harmison tips Ben Stokes for second Test

First Ashes Test: Australia v England

  • Venue: The Gabba, Brisbane
  • Date: 21-25 November
  • Start time: 00:00 GMT

Coverage: Ball-by-ball Test Match Special commentary from 23:30 GMT on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra, BBC Radio 4 Long Wave and via the BBC iPlayer Radio app, BBC Sport website & BBC Sport app; updates on BBC Radio 5 live; live text commentary on BBC Sport website, app & mobile devices

Ex-England seamer Steve Harmison thinks Durham's Ben Stokes has a good chance of playing in the second Ashes Test.

Last three Adelaide Ashes Tests

Scores over 500 in the first innings:

  • 2010: England 620-5 dec.
  • 2006: England 551-6 dec. & Australia 513
  • 2002: Australia 552-9 dec.

All-rounder Stokes is unlikely to be selected for Thursday's opener in Brisbane as England are expected to use an orthodox four-man bowling attack.

The wicket at Adelaide, the venue for the second fixture, has a reputation for being flat and high-scoring.

"For that pitch, I think there's a spot up for grabs to have a fifth bowler and Ben is that player," said Harmison.

Uncapped at Test level, New Zealand-born Stokes has played 14 limited overs matches for England.

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Even as 12th man, being on an Ashes tour is just great for him

Steve Harmison on Ben Stokes

He is yet to make a significant contribution with the bat, but in the summer's final one-day international with Australia, the paceman took 5-61 at Southampton.

"It would be good to see him get some action and Adelaide is his best chance," Harmison, a team-mate of Stokes's at Durham until he retired at the end of the season, told BBC Newcastle.

"I think the England selectors will be looking there and at Sydney [for the fifth match] in terms of potentially taking a batsman out of the side.

"At Sydney it's kind of tradition to play a second spinner so Ben may well come into the reckoning there too and Ben has shown he can take wickets at international level."

As a part of Durham's 2013 County Championship-winning side, Stokes took 42 wickets at an average of 26.57 and contributed 615 runs batting in the middle-order.

Did you know?

Ben Stokes' father, Ged played international rugby league for New Zealand.

The family moved to England in 2003 when Ged became coach of Championship side Workington.

Prior to his inclusion in this winter's touring party, 22-year-old Stokes had not been included in an England Test match squad.

Last winter he travelled to Australia with the England Lions but was sent home after a breach of discipline.

"Going on an Ashes tour is just fantastic and I am sure he will grasp the opportunity with both hands," added Harmison.

"Even if the only action he gets is as 12th man, it'll be a great experience and we in the North East should be proud to have him out there."