Stokes expecting fireworks
Ben Stokes has noticed a change in the Australians but says tensions will still be high when the Ashes action gets underway.
In the aftermath of last year's sandpaper scandal that resulted in Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft all receiving year-long suspensions, Australia have been working hard to clean up their act.
On the eve of the opening Ashes Test at Edgbaston, Stokes says he has noticed a difference already, but believes the Ashes will not lack any fireworks when the action finally gets underway.
"It is weird Aussies trying to be nice to you," he said with a smile after rain forced England to train indoors at Edgbaston.
"But I think once you get out in the middle and cross the white line the real competitive side of both teams will come out. The Ashes are the biggest Test series played in the world. There is always something that happens between teams in Ashes series and I don't think this will be any different.
"Both teams are desperate to win, both sets of players are desperate to perform because Ashes series are where you get looked at. It is where you are scrutinised or criticised more or if you do well you get more praise.
"Everyone knows that as well, all 22 guys know that, so I can assure you there will be some sort of theatre that goes on out there."
Michael Holland is a reporter with over two decades of journalism experience. A Bolton fan, Michael often writes football articles, as well as having a strong knowledge of golf, cricket and Australian sports.