From scoring a century in one Test, to recording his best bowling figures in the next, it’s little surprise ‘freakish’ is the only way Jonny Bairstow can describe Ben Stokes.

Now, with the Ashes the next Test match series on England’s agenda, the wicket-keeper batsman is hoping Stokes can be released to run free when it comes to facing the Australians.

With talent unquestionable, the Durham all-rounder finally let the numbers do the talking against the West Indies, averaging 57 with the bat and a miserly 22 with the ball in hand.

Couple that with a century against a formidable South African bowling unit, and it’s little surprise the debate of where he stands among England all-rounders has him near the top.

Bairstow is certainly among those lauding the 26-year-old, hopeful his impact can keep taking England to new heights in the Test arena.

“I don’t think his ability and skill has ever been anything that people can question,” said Bairstow.

“We’ve seen him play some freakish innings, bowl some very good spells, so long may that continue with him.

“With Ben, it’s about letting him go and letting him play the way he does.

“Ben is a match-winner, we’ve got a few of them in the team and that’s so important, we’ve shown that if one of them doesn’t do it then we’ve got others in the team and that’s a big part of our game.”

Having gone from a level of shoe-horning all-rounders in, England have now become inundated with them, with Stokes, Moeen Ali and Chris Woakes all viable contenders late down the order.

Bairstow’s increased responsibility with bat and gloves has only increased that, with the main problems coming at the top of the batting unit.

Questions remain over who will sit alongside Alastair Cook and Joe Root in the top five in Australia, though the Yorkshireman believes the middle-order has an equally-important role as those opening up for the side.

“We’re very lucky to have someone like Ben in that middle order but it’s not just him, we’ve got Moeen and Chris and Toby (Roland-Jones) who are all all-rounders, so having two strings to the bow of many players is something quite important to us as a team moving forward,” he added.

“As long as we can keep developing all aspects of our game in that middle order, who knows how far we can go with it.

“It’s an encouraging place for us to be where we can have people change a day and a session, and Ben is someone who can do that with bat or ball.”

Jonny Bairstow was speaking on behalf of Royal London, proud sponsors of One Day cricket, ahead of the upcoming ODI Series v West Indies.