Qantas Tour of NZ 2018

England won't rush Stokes' return

A return to the middle at least two weeks away for Ben Stokes

AAP

15 February 2018, 09:25 AM

England coach Trevor Bayliss has welcomed the return of Ben Stokes but says the allrounder is unlikely to play the first one-day international of the New Zealand series.

Stokes indicated a plea of not guilty to a charge of affray at Bristol magistrates' court on Tuesday and will join his England teammates this week in Hamilton ahead of their five-match series starting February 25.

Bayliss 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 said.

"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."

Stoinis returns to Eden Park as T20 series continues

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.

While he won’t play immediately, teammate Dawid Malan says Stokes’ return will give the T20I squad a major pick-me-up.

"Stokes is probably one of the best all-rounders in the world, if not the best all-rounder in the world," the 30-year-old Malan said. "He's pretty much a freak when he gets going.

"The confidence he brings to the team and the skill set he brings are unbelievable - you know, you've got a match-winner there."

Trans-Tasman T20 Tri-Series

First T20I Australia beat New Zealand by seven wickets. Scorecard

Second T20I Australia beat England by five wickets. Scorecard

Third T20I Australia beat England by seven wickets. Scorecard

Fourth T20I New Zealand beat England by 12 runs. Scorecard

Fifth T20I NZ v Australia, Eden Park, February 16

Sixth T20I NZ v England, Seddon Park, February 18

Final TBC, Eden Park, February 21

Australia squad: David Warner (c), Aaron Finch (vc), Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Ben Dwarshuis, Travis Head, Chris Lynn, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, D'Arcy Short, Billy Stanlake, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye, Adam Zampa.

England squad: Eoin Morgan (c), Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Liam Dawson, Alex Hales, Chris Jordan, Dawid Malan, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, James Vince, David Willey, Mark Wood.

New Zealand squad: Kane Williamson (c), Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Tom Bruce, Colin de Grandhomme, Martin Guptill, Anaru Kitchen, Colin Munro, Seth Rance, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Ben Wheeler.