England’s ‘problem’ with Ben’s comeback
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.