Stokes expected to face Black Caps

24 February 2018 15:57

Ben Stokes "looks in great nick", with Eoin Morgan prepared to reintroduce England's star all-rounder in Sunday's first ODI against New Zealand.

Stokes has only played briefly in New Zealand's domestic 50-over tournament since a late-night incident in Bristol during England's ODI series with West Indies last September.

After pleading not guilty to a charge of affray last week, Stokes has been released on bail and his case sent to Bristol Crown Court, with the first hearing -  which he is not required to attend - scheduled for March 12, allowing him to resume his international career.

Seddon Park seems likely to play host to Stokes' comeback, as Morgan's side tackle the Black Caps in the first of five ODIs.

"He looks in great nick, he's hit the ground running since he's been involved and he's been himself, which is great to see," Morgan said.

"He might be better for the more games he does play and feel more comfortable coming back ... it is his first game in quite a long time."

On Stokes' mental state, Morgan added: "It's a skill of any professional sportsman, or any professional when it comes down to doing your job, and it's actually a nice release because you get to focus on one thing."

Kane Williamson led New Zealand to a Twenty20 tri-series final at the expense of England recently, though his side lost to Australia.

England have excelled in the 50-over format in recent years, however, and the Kiwi skipper is anticipating a hard test.

"I think we park the T20 for now and focus on a lot of the good one-day cricket we've been playing," Williamson said. "The plans are fairly different so it's important we go back to that. We know it's a tough challenge against England.

"We don't want to get too far ahead of ourselves. There's been some good one-day cricket played by our group but we do know we'll have to adapt to the opposition and the surfaces which have been different throughout each venue."

Latest news

19 March 2018


18 March 2018