Steve Harmison tells Ben Stokes how he can improve as a bowler

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Ben Stokes has been one of England's most dangerous bowlers throughout the first Test against India at Edgbaston this week.

The 27-year-old, who holds the record for England’s fastest ever Test double-century, made his Test debut in 2013 and has since made 42 appearances at that level.

His pace has caused all of the Indian batsmen problems and has been keen to have a big impact on proceedings knowing he will miss the second Test as he is due in court to face charges of affray.

Stokes undoubtedly is considered one of the best all-rounders around today and even shows glimpses of a certain Andrew Flintoff, according to former fast bowler Steve Harmison.

The 39-year-old, a close friend of ex-teammate Flintoff, believes there are similarities between the pair but is reluctant to place too much pressure on Stokes' shoulders.

“He does, yeah, I don’t like comparing, I hated it when Freddy was compared to Ian Botham and Ben’s compared to Flintoff and Botham but Ben Stokes is a fantastic cricketer,” he told ESPN.

“If he does miss out next week through the court case, it’ll be a huge loss but there is talk of him not missing out so that’ll be a great boost for England.

England v India: Specsavers 1st Test - Day Two

“He’s huge, absolutely huge, Indian fans have seen it in the IPL, the ability to take wickets.”

Despite Stokes’ fantastic ability, Harmison still sees an area where the Durham ace can improve.

He added: “Ben Stokes, I’ve known Ben Stokes since he was 13-years-old and I’ve seen him in nets, all the way through, out of the younger part of his career and I’ve said it many many times, Ben Stokes can bowl an outswinger beautifully, an inswinger beautifully, a bouncer, a slower ball yorker.

England v India: Specsavers 1st Test - Day Three

“A problem Ben Stokes has got sometimes, he wants to bowl them all in the same over and that’s the thing he has to learn, a bit like Jimmy Anderson did from a young man is when to bowl the right ball at the right time and I think that’s why he’s getting better and better.”

So it’s clear Harmison feels Stokes should take a leaf out of Anderson’s book and work on setting up a batsman by being a bit smarter with his delivery selection.

Becoming more unpredictable will only serve him well going forwards anyway.

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England cricket
Andrew Flintoff
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