YOUR mission, should you choose to accept it, is to regain The Ashes on Australian soil for the first time in half a century.
You must do it severely undercooked, without any serious warm-up matches and with the continuation of stifling Covid restrictions.
You must do it without a world-class bowler of express pace or spin, and with possibly the worst England batting line-up in living memory.
And you must do it against a bloke, Steve Smith, who averages more than 100 in his last 15 Ashes innings.
Oh and remember that, in six of their last seven tours Down Under, England have not won a single Test while the urn has been up for grabs.
When The Ashes start at Brisbane’s ‘Gabbatoir’ at midnight tonight, Joe Root’s side face mission impossible.
Which brings us to Ben Stokes, a man who frequently believes as many as six impossible things before breakfast.
English cricket, mired in a racism crisis and struggling for its place in the national sporting consciousness as never before, needs Stokes.
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