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Stokes: "We have our sights set on history – I want to step up and play my part"


The countdown has begun and this T20 series against South Africa is the start of a journey that will hopefully see us do something that no team has ever done before.

We are less than a year away from the T20 World Cup in India and we are totally focused on adding another trophy to the 50-over title we won last year.

It is going to take a huge effort from so many of us to reach our goal, but we understand what it will take and it is up to us to put it all together over the next 12 months to give ourselves that chance at history.

And looking around the group of players we’ve got out here in Cape Town there is no doubt in my mind that we’ve got enough talent to choose from with players pushing each other hard.

That was one of our greatest strengths in the build up to the 50 over World Cup. The competition for places meant that everyone had to lift their game to even get in the squad never mind the team.



Focus is on preparing for next year’s T20 World Cup

We had four years to build for that tournament, but we are coming at this from a slightly different angle and we really need to make the most of the games we have in terms of finding the right combinations and players knowing their roles inside out.

In times gone by we’ve seen players rested from the format as the 2019 World Cup took priority, but that has changed now and I expect we’ll be seeing our strongest T20 side more often than not.

We need to get guys playing matches together, because even though it is a white-ball it is a completely different format and guys need to develop that confidence as an individual and as a team.

With such a fantastic and experienced leader in Eoin Morgan, I’m certain he will make sure he has exactly what he is looking for come next year’s tournament, but we’ve got to deliver for him.



I want to replicate the success I’ve achieved in the Test and ODI formats

For me personally I want to contribute a bit more in this format. I’d like to bring as much quality and consistency as I have done in the Test and ODI teams to this side.

I don’t like looking back too much but I don’t think I’ve delivered as much as I would have liked to in T20 games when I’ve played. I want to change that.

It was good to get that T20 hundred as an opener in the IPL, I’d wanted to do that for a while, but the middle order role I play for England is a different challenge and one I’m looking forward to making the most of.

It has been a while since I’ve been out on the field with the three lions on my chest and of course I’ve missed it, and being part of this environment with the lads.

I left during the Pakistan series in the summer which was over three months ago now, but you quickly slip back into the groove once we’re all together again.



We want to add the T20 World Cup to our ODI victory last summer

Everyone is making sure they are looking out for each other too, because we’ve all experienced enough bubbles to know that it can be a struggle at times.

That is why the management are making sure we get enough time out of the environment to stay fresh and ready for action and don’t let us get burnt out either physically or mentally.

Each player is different in the way they react to the demands and the restrictions during the pandemic. Of course others have it far tougher than us, but it is not a competition.

You can still be lucky enough to play an international sport you love, but also find bubble life tough.





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