London, Aug 30: New England talent Ben Stokes has refused comparisons with legendary all-rounder Andrew Flintoff, saying he does not base himself on someone else. The 20-year-old Durham all-rounder made his one-day debut against Ireland last week, and is part of the England squads for Wednesday's one-off Twenty20 international and the upcoming ODI series.
"I am my own person, I don't want to base myself on someone else. I guess we are the same - we bat and we bowl - but I don't want to base myself on anyone else," the youngster said.
There are similarities between Stokes and Flintoff as he too is an attacking batsman, albeit a southpaw, and quite an effective medium pacer. If he gets a chance to play against India he will be playing just a batsman as he can't bowl due to a recent finger injury.
"I had a bad break in my finger and a dislocation. I had two operations on it and was out for eight or nine weeks. It was pretty frustrating, especially given how well I thought I was playing before I did it.
"I am not 100 per cent fit to bowl yet but I will keep on getting treatment. Hopefully as time goes by it will get easier. It is absolutely brilliant to be selected. It has been said but this season has been quite frustrating with injury. I didn't let it come into my mind," he was quoted as saying by 'Daily Mail'.
Stokes said he is striving hard to get better. "Batting is my strongest suit at the moment but I have worked pretty hard on my bowling over the winter and it was improving until the injury happened. I want to have a bigger role to play with the ball. As I have got older I have got stronger as I have bowled more.
"The rhythm and the action will come together and hopefully that will add more pace."
Stokes could manage to score just three runs in the close rain-affected game against Ireland and said nerves took time to settle on the occasion ODI debut. "I think because I was making my international debut, that was big enough in itself. The nerves were there, especially the night before, not knowing if I was playing or not, but as soon as I got settled in and knew I was playing, the nerves went away. The game took over and I went about doing what I have been doing," he said.