London: Ben Stokes has revealed being sledged relentlessly by David Warner was the motivation behind his stunning match-winning century against Australia at Headingley in August.
Stokes' unbeaten 135 that inspired England to a one-wicket win to level the Ashes series at 1-1 has been widely lauded as one the greatest innings of all time as the hosts chased down 369 to win thanks to his unlikely 76-run last wicket-stand with Jack Leach.
Ben Stokes celebrates victory after his stunning century at Headingley.Credit:PA
"I could accept it from just about any other opponent. Truly. Not from him, though."
Stokes, who scored only three runs off his first 73 balls after arriving at the crease on the Saturday evening was dropped on 34 by Warner who then did all he could to get under his skin.
"The changed man he was adamant he'd become, the one that hardly said boo to a goose and even went as far as claiming he had been re-nicknamed 'Humble' by his Australia teammates, had disappeared," Stokes wrote.
"Maybe his lack of form in his new guise had persuaded him that he needed to get 'the bull' back?
David Warner had plenty to say out in the middle, according to Ben Stokes.Credit:AP
"Although he'd enjoyed a prolific World Cup campaign, he had struggled with the bat at the start of the Ashes and was perhaps turning to his old ways to try to get the best out of himself.
"The nice guy act had done nothing for his runs column.
"The more time passed, the more it spurred me on. All kinds of ideas of what I might say to him at the end of the game went through my head.
"In the end, I vowed to do nothing other than shake his hand and say 'Well done' if I could manufacture the situation.
"You always shake the hands of every member of the opposing team at the end of a match. But this one would give me the greatest sense of satisfaction."
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