Stokes re­called to Eng­land one-day squad with Hales

All-rounder’s place will de­pend on CPS ac­tion Root says Test team ‘still mas­sively in this series’

The Daily Telegraph - Sport - - Front Page - By Scyld Berry and Nick Hoult in Ade­laide

Ben Stokes has been in­cluded in Eng­land’s 16-man squad for the one-day series to be played against Aus­tralia af­ter the Ashes but his in­volve­ment de­pends on whether he is charged by the Crown Pros­e­cu­tion Ser­vice.

“Se­lec­tors were given clear guid­ance to name their strong­est squad and have made their se­lec­tions ac­cord­ingly,” an Eng­land and Wales Cricket Board spokesman said. But Stokes’ in­volve­ment “re­mains sub­ject to any rel­e­vant le­gal or dis­ci­plinary devel­op­ments in re­la­tion to the in­ci­dent in Bris­tol in Septem­ber”.

Trevor Bayliss, the Eng­land head coach, said about the prospect of Stokes’ re­turn and a me­dia cir­cus: “I’m sure there will be. We won’t know it, ac­tu­ally, un­til it comes along. There’s been a fair bit of scru­tiny that’s come along with it in the first five or six weeks as well. But we’ve got to ad­just to that at some stage.”

On whether Stokes would ac­tu­ally be avail­able, Bayliss said: “I’ve got ab­so­lutely no idea. Still wait­ing for the po­lice re­port. When­ever he comes back, that’s go­ing to be a bit of a cir­cus, for sure. Whether it’s any more of a cir­cus than it’s al­ready been, it’s hard to say. If it hap­pens, let’s just get on with it and take it on the chin.”

Stokes was in ac­tion in New Zealand’s Ford Tro­phy one-day com­pe­ti­tion for Can­ter­bury in Auckand yes­ter­day, mak­ing 34 out of 277 for nine in a seven-wicket de­feat.

Now that Alex Hales is avail­able for Eng­land se­lec­tion, hav­ing been cleared by Avon and Som­er­set Po­lice, he re­turns to the squad, but not nec­es­sar­ily to the team. Bayliss sug­gested that he would pre­fer to keep the open­ing pair of Ja­son Roy and Jonny Bairstow.

“From my point of view, and I haven’t spo­ken to Morgs [Eoin Mor­gan, the one-day cap­tain] about it, but the two open­ers we had did very well and it would be dif­fi­cult to go against them,” Bayliss said.

Bayliss does not fore­see Joe Root and Moeen Ali hav­ing a break un­til af­ter the one-day series, when Eng­land join Aus­tralia and New Zea- land in a Twenty20 tri-series. “We’ll keep a check on them in this Test series and the one-day­ers. Hope­fully, all go­ing ac­cord­ing to plan, they’ll play these five Test matches and the five one-day­ers as well, then we’ll look at a break.”

Fol­low­ing Eng­land’s 120-run de­feat in the sec­ond Test in Ade­laide yes­ter­day, Root was adamant his team were still “mas­sively in this series” and in a much bet­ter po­si­tion than they were four years ago when they were white­washed 5-0, even though his se­nior play­ers are out of form.

Moeen’s bowl­ing has been in­ef­fec­tive and he has been dis­missed four times by Nathan Lyon. Alas­tair Cook is av­er­ag­ing 15, Bairstow has a top score of 42 from four in­nings, while Root has twice passed 50 with­out go­ing on to make a cen­tury, a habit that is caus­ing him ma­jor con­cern.

“We have shown through­out the two games that for pe­ri­ods we can out­per­form Aus­tralia, but just not for five days, and that is go­ing to be our chal­lenge,” said Root. “I think we are play­ing bet­ter cricket this time around [com­pared to four years ago]. I don’t think we [the teams] are us un­evenly matched as we were last time around. We have shown through­out the two games that it has ebbed and flowed and we have been in con­trol for pe­ri­ods of the game where I don’t think that was nec­es­sar­ily the case last time around. We just have to try to har­ness those pe­ri­ods and ex­pand them and make them last for longer pe­ri­ods of time.”

There are few op­tions for Eng­land and Bayliss has in­di­cated they will play the same XI in the third Test at the Waca in Perth next week. “I can’t see any rea­son to change the team,” he said. “[Chris] Woakes bowled well, as did the two ex­pe­ri­enced bowlers. I thought [Craig] Over­ton bowled ex­tremely well. He bat­ted and fielded well, too. He has a bit of fire in his belly. Every­one has shown that they have a bit of fight.”

Eng­land play a two-day game in Perth over the week­end but the side will be mostly made up of Lions play­ers, with Moeen Ali the only player from Ade­laid on duty. he will cap­tain the side. Gary Bal­lance is the spare bats­man in the squad but is another left-han­der whose out­side edge Lyon can spin the ball past. Over­ton im­pressed Bayliss enough to play at Perth, putting Mark Wood’s re­turn on hold, but the bat­ting is the ma­jor con­cern.

“They are good enough to make Test hun­dreds. If you have made a fifty, you’ve just got to do it again,” said Bayliss. “It’s about go­ing through that ceil­ing and do­ing it twice. Think to your­self I have 50, do it again. Keep play­ing straight, keep play­ing my game.”

In the swing: Ben Stokes bat­ting for Can­ter­bury in Auck­land yes­ter­day

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