MX23RW : Friday, October 19 16:35:05

Andrew Flintoff believes Ben Stokes looks a shadow of himself before trial

The 27-year-old was cleared of affray last month.

Former England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff has claimed Ben Stokes does not look the same player after his return to action following his trial for affray.

Stokes was cleared of the charge, which he denied, at Bristol Crown Court last month and was able to play a part in England's series victory over India after missing the second Test.

However, Flintoff believes it will take the 27-year-old time to regain his best form after the traumatic experience of appearing in court.

Speaking on his BBC Radio 5 Live podcast, Flintoff, Savage and the Ping Pong Guy in a discussion about sporting comebacks following Tiger Woods' first PGA Tour victory for more than five years, he said: "Do you know when someone comes back and they lose a little bit of their aura and you gotta find it? Ben Stokes.

"Ben Stokes goes through what he's come back from and to me, I watch him play and it's not the same Ben Stokes...at the minute. To me, there's a bit of an unsureness about him.

"You're aware of what people are thinking and that does rub off on you. You're not just trying to win a game, you're trying to win people over.

"He's doing all right, but it's not that Ben Stokes that we saw pre- his trial. And it takes a while to come back from, and I hope he does."

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