MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 18: England player Ben Stokes in action during England nets ahead of the 1st ODI against West Indies at Old Trafford on September 18, 2017 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

England captain Ben Stokes has come to the defence of his controversial decision to declare on day one of the First Ashes Test and send the Aussies into bat with a few overs remaining in the evening.

Joe Root was finding runs everywhere on the opening days of the Test summer, hitting 118 not out in partnering with Ollie Robinson, who had 17 runs from 31 balls before Stokes whistled them in to have a shot at Australia's openers before the end of the day.

No damage was done to the opening pair in David Warner and Usman Khawaja, with Australia sitting at zero wickets for 14 runs at the end of play, but ultimately led to Khawaja scoring 141 runs in that innings.

Former England captain Michael Vaughan spoke on the BBC's Test Match Special that Stokes wouldn't make the decision to declare in hindsight.

"Those 30 or 40 runs… If you'd have asked Ben Stokes this morning, 'Would you have liked Joe to have got another 30 on that day one, you've now got them in the bank?' Of course (he would)," Vaughan said.

"I will guarantee at Lord's, if they bat first and they're 393 for 8 with 20 minutes to go, I will guarantee that they'll carry on batting… not with Joe Root 118 not out."

But Stokes came out during his press conference after Australia drew first blood and stated that he would make the same decision again.

"If we were in the same position? Yeah. I would like to be 398 for 6 with 20 minutes left. That would be great," he said

"I could also turn it around and say, 'If we didn't declare, would we have got the excitement that we did at the end of day five?' I'm not a hundred per cent sure, but I'm not going to be looking back on this game as 'what ifs'... the reality is, we just didn't manage to get over the line.

"I thought that was a time to pounce.
"I am not going to change the way I have gone about my cricket because it is the Ashes. Who knows? We could have got an extra 40 runs or lost two wickets in two balls. I am not a captain who gets by on what-ifs. We saw it as an opportunity to pounce on Australia and really start day two on top."
Australian captain Pat Cummins also weighed in on the situation, saying that he wouldn't have declared but isn't shocked about the decision.
"Probably not, no," Cummins said regarding if he would make the same call.

"I wasn't overly surprised, But the wicket felt pretty good, so I thought every run was pretty much needed in that first innings."

Would England have won if they didn't declare? Or would the rain on the last day have wasted too much time to get a result?

Australia is currently 1-0 in the series with the second Test starting on June 28 at Lords.