Chris Silverwood provides positive update on "upbeat" England star Ben Stokes

England head coach Chris Silverwood has offered a positive update on Ben Stokes and left the door open for the all-rounder to join the Ashes squad if he feels he ready to return to cricket.

Stokes is currently on an indefinite break from the sport in order to prioritise his mental wellbeing and continue his recovery from a finger injury.

The 30-year-old was not available for selection for the initial Ashes squad and Silverwood insisted that there was no pressure on him to rush back.

Silverwood said: "There's no pressure. I'm not going to tell him when he comes back. When Ben is ready, he'll give me a call and then we'll cross that bridge when we come to it, make plans where necessary.

"Ben is moving forward, and the communications I have had with him, he is definitely more upbeat.

"I'll be led by him and my concern first and foremost is his well-being. And when he does come back we'll make sure he's in the right place and he is ready to perform."

Silverwood is confident that England can perform in Australia, adding: "We've had some tough Tests coming into this, playing New Zealand and India who are the two best teams in the world.

"That's been great preparation for us and the preparation we're going to get in Australia is excellent.

"It's massively exciting this series is going ahead, we're at the point where everyone's committed and we're all going and I think the mindset is now going to shift towards performance.

"That's what it's got to be and making sure when we turn up to Australia, we'll be in the right mind space to turn up and compete.

"I think we are battle hardened. We've had some success along the way and we've proved we can compete with the likes of India.

"I think the important thing is our players have seen what the best in the world look like, they've played against it and felt what it's like to have them pushing against us.

"But we've also got a taste of success against them, just look at the Headingley Test where came back strongly against them there."

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