Eng­land’s ‘prob­lem’ with Ben’s come­back

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Coach Trevor Bayliss has warned Eng­land’s limited-overs side faces a shake-up with some­body set to make way for the re­turn of con­tro­ver­sial all-rounder Ben Stokes.

Stokes has not played for Eng­land since he was in­volved in a late-night brawl in Septem­ber but is due to re­join the squad in New Zealand next month af­ter ap­pear­ing at Bris­tol Mag­is­trates’ Court on a charge of af­fray.

Eng­land has man­aged per­fectly well with­out Stokes, thrash­ing Aus­tralia 4-1 in the se­ries that wrapped up at the week­end, but there is no ques­tion that his pres­ence im­proves the side.

His abil­ity to hold down a place in the top six and pro­vide an ex­tra seam op­tion makes the 26-year-old a prize as­set and one who de­mands se­lec­tion once avail­able.

“It’s a good prob­lem to have, and he might not fit back in straight away, but I think ev­ery­one knows he is com­ing back in the team at some stage,” Bayliss said.

“That keeps ev­ery­one on their toes, try­ing to score runs and putting their name for­ward to make sure they are not the ones who get pushed aside when he comes back.”

Jonny Bairstow and Alex Hales are un­der pres­sure af­ter fail­ing to im­press dur­ing the Aus­tralia se­ries.

Hales (pic­tured) ap­pears closer to the edge af­ter be­ing dropped to No.3. He con­trib­uted just 100 runs in five in­nings.

Aus­tralia will take on New Zealand in the first game of T20 tri-se­ries at the SCG on Satur­day. Aus­tralia play Eng­land on Fe­bru­ary 7 and Fe­bru­ary 10 in Melbourne.


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