Ben Stokes urges England to 'wipe slate clean' in West Indies Test series

England play three-match series in Caribbean, the team's first assignment since the 4-0 Ashes drubbing

Ben Stokes of England bowls in the middle during the lunch break of the tour match between West Indies President's XI and England XI. Getty Images
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Ben Stokes has said England want to quickly move on from their Ashes humiliation when they take on the West Indies in a three-Test series, while the all-rounder wants to make amends after "letting the team down" in Australia.

Stokes made his return to cricket at the Ashes in December last year after taking an indefinite break from the game to focus on his mental health and recover from a finger injury, but struggled to find his best form Down Under.

The 30-year-old, who was hampered by a side strain which he picked up while playing in the fourth Test, had an average of 23.60 with the bat, with a high score of 66, and took four wickets as England were thrashed 4-0.

"Looking back on Australia we've had some honest reflections, not only as a team but individuals," Stokes told reporters on Saturday. "One of my reflections on the tour as a whole was that I personally felt I let the team down, with more than just performances.

"I would have liked to have been in better physical shape when I was in Australia. I never want to feel that way again because it's hard when you sit down to reflect on the things that didn't go well in Australia.

"We've come here (to Antigua) and wiped the slate clean. We can't live in the past. I know what I want to give to the team and I know what I have to do to deliver that on a consistent basis."

The first Test in Antigua begins on Tuesday and will be followed by matches in Barbados (March 16-20) and Grenada (March 24-28). The three-Test series forms part of the ICC World Test Championship.

Updated: March 06, 2022, 8:59 AM