Ben Stokes: Headingley heroics will count for nothing if England don't win Ashes

All-rounder already has his focus on the fourth Test at Old Trafford that starts on September 4

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Ben Stokes says his match-winning innings for England against Australia in the third Test at Headingley will count for little unless they win back the Ashes.

The all-rounder shone in England's dramatic one-wicket victory, where he scored 135 not out to help them chase down 359.

Stokes told Sky Sports News: "I don't think it has completely sunk in yet and the main reason for that is we have two games to go.

"It was an amazing week in Headingley and something that will be very hard to forget, but we still have a long way to go.

"If we don't get the Ashes back what will it feel like? I will only take real satisfaction from the innings if we win back the Ashes."

Stokes praised the contribution of England's last man Jack Leach, who faced 17 deliveries for his one run at Headingley.

"It was a pretty iconic image, Jack Leach cleaning his glasses after every ball and the video of him playing his shot has gone viral as well," Stokes added.

"But the 17 balls he faced are probably the most crucial he will ever face in his career.

"We knew how much time we had left in the innings and we were fully prepared to take it into day five because we didn't have any scoreboard pressure."

The fourth Test starts on September 4 at Old Trafford and Stokes says England will go into it with a huge amount of belief while Australia may still be reeling after coming so close to retaining the Ashes.

He said: "Stuart Broad said we need to bowl at these guys like we were defending 170 and we had to get the 67 out of our head.

"Momentum is huge in sport and I'm 100 per cent sure when Stuart Broad got out Australia would have thought they will have the Ashes by the end of the day, so we go into the next match with a lot of confidence.

"I think we are very aware as a team and as players that we have a responsibility to inspire the next generation of cricketers.

"What we did in the first half of the summer helped us to do that and if we win the Ashes hopefully it will help produce more cricketers out of England over the next 20 years."

Meanwhile, Australia have played down suggestions that spinner Nathan Lyon could miss the fourth Ashes Test with an ankle injury.

Cricket Australia confirmed on Wednesday morning that the 31-year-old has picked up an ankle issue, but did not seem to think it would affect his involvement at Old Trafford.

"A bit of a scare for the Aussies at training today, but (Lyon) is all good," CA tweeted. "He has a slightly twisted right ankle and left training as a precaution. He would have stayed on in a Test."