Steve Waugh has a question for ECB over Ben Stokes' Ashes presence, says "can't England win without Stokes"?

Have the mind games already begun, isn't it too early?

With doubts still hovering over Ben Stokes Ashes selection, Australian former skipper Steve Waugh has teased the English contingent by asking them a pertinent question, “can’t England win without Stokes”? The question is pretty important ahead of the Ashes, which is slated next month. Ben Stokes recently got embroiled in a controversy when he was spotted fisting and punching a person on the street, outside a pub and was arrested.

Former Australian captain Waugh, at the helm in 57 Tests for 41 victories, said England will not be the same threat without Stokes.

“If he doesn’t come, I don’t think they can win the Ashes, while Stokes is yet to be charged, he remains under investigation, and Waugh hit out at England’s failure to immediately drop him from the Ashes squad,” Waugh told Sky Sports Radio late Tuesday.

“I think if it was anyone in the Australian side, they wouldn’t be picked. You can’t do that these days in public. It just didn’t look good and it’s a bad image for the game,” he said.

“I think they (England selectors) are pretty keen for him to play in Australia… he’s probably their best player, so it would be a real shame if he’s not out here.”

“Without Ben Stokes, we’ll win, it’s too much pressure on Broad and Anderson, and they’re getting a bit older, and I can’t see them playing five Test matches straight,” he concluded.

He also went on to predict the Ashes result, he feels Australia will win 3-1.

Stokes’ absence from the Test tour, starting in Brisbane on November 23, would be a massive setback for Ashes-holders England, who have lost two out of their past three tours Down Under 5-0. Hence they will be cautious and wary of this situation, just highlights England’s dependency on Stokes.