England skipper –Eoin Morgan has suggested that all-rounder –Ben Stokes, who has joined the national squad in New Zealand last week, would be in the Playing XI for the series opener of the five-match One Day International series on 25 February in Hamilton.
Since the Bristol nightclub incident in September 2017, Stokes had been sidelined, but now the star all-rounder is all set to resume his international career with New Zealand series opener after pleading not guilty at Bristol Magistrates' Court in the second week of this month to a charge of affray.
However, it will be his first international assignment since September 2017, but he succeeded to impress by his fitness to England’s Medical Staff and even Head coach Trevor Bayliss also impressed with his training in New Zealand and gave him the go-ahead.
As per The Daily Mail, Morgan said, “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. 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.”
He further added on Stokes, “We’re expecting him to play, providing there aren’t any hiccups. He’s pulled up well over the last couple of days and providing he gets through a little bit of bowling then he’ll be fit. He’s turned up incredibly fit. The bowling would be the hiccup if he did pick up a niggle but at the moment it’s looking good. It would be nice for him to get a race under his belt. That all makes sense but equally when you do have a racehorse of the quality of Ben, you need to look after him as well.”
The totemic all-rounder will return at No. 5 batting order which means Jonny Bairstow or Alex Hales need to be out and Morgan said, “It’s a tough decision. We’ve been spoilt for batters for the period of time we have been together in this group but it’s a nice choice to have.”