In spite of pleading not guilty in affray charges, Ben Stokes is unlikely to play in the first one day international match against New Zealand, said English coach Trevor Bayliss. The initial encounter between these two teams will occur on February 25.
In an interview with Sky Sports, Bayliss said, ““He hasn’t played for a while. 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.”
He, again said, the England all-rounder will be assessed at practice after his arrival in New Zealand.
“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. The reason we are getting him out as soon as we can is that we can get him up to speed so he is available for selection as early as possible,” quoted Bayliss by Sky Sports.
“To me, apart from the way he plays, he’s a quality batter and bowler and our best fielder and one of the leaders in our squad. I think one of the biggest things we’ve missed over the summer has been the combinations we’ve been able to play,” Bayliss said.
“Right throughout the summer we’ve been down to five bowlers, especially in the one-dayers and T20s. 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,” he added.