Bayliss won’t rush Stokes back into Eng­land ODI team

Kuwait Times - - Sports -

LON­DON: Eng­land coach Trevor Bayliss has wel­comed the re­turn of Ben Stokes but said the all-rounder is un­likely to play the first one-day in­ter­na­tional of the New Zealand se­ries. Stokes pleaded not guilty to a charge of af­fray at Bris­tol mag­is­trates’ court on Tues­day and will join his Eng­land team mates this week in Hamil­ton ahead of their five-match se­ries start­ing Feb. 25.

Byliss said Stokes, who will miss the Twenty20 game against the Ki­wis on Sun­day, needs to get back up to speed be­fore he can fea­ture in the start­ing 11. “He hasn’t played for a while,” Bayliss told re­porters. “It is not as if we can maybe bring him straight back for these T20s, for ex­am­ple.

“We have got to get him up to speed and hope­fully dur­ing this one-day se­ries we can get him back into the team. “At this stage I’d have to say it was un­likely (he’ll play the first ODI). We’ll have to wait and see how he is with travel, with prac­tice.”

Stokes, one of world cricket’s most destruc­tive bats­men, last played a com­pet­i­tive match for Can­ter­bury in New Zealand’s do­mes­tic T20 com­pe­ti­tion last De­cem­ber. His ab­sence was not nec­es­sar­ily felt dur­ing Eng­land’s 4-1 ODI se­ries win against Aus­tralia. How­ever, that suc­cess has been fol­lowed by three con­sec­u­tive T20 fail­ures, with two losses against Aus­tralia and on Tues­day against New Zealand.

“Right through­out the sum­mer we’ve been down to five bowlers, es­pe­cially in the one-day­ers and T20s,” Bayliss added. “We’ve been able to have six bowlers be­fore, which gives the cap­tain plenty of dif­fer­ent op­tions. I think that’s what we’ve missed the most apart from his in­di­vid­ual per­for­mances.”

Stokes is ex­pected to fea­ture in Eng­land’s two tests against New Zealand at Auck­land and Christchurch next month.

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