Stokes to miss Lords Test against India

Stokes to miss Lord\s Test against India
Injured Ben Stokes out of warm-up match against New Zealand XI
England all-rounder Ben Stokes‘ hopes of making a Test return suffered a major blow as he has been ruled of his side’s two-day warm-up match against New Zealand XI due to a back injury.

However, it is believed that the 26-year-old’s injury is not that serious to put his highly-anticipated return to Test cricket against New Zealand in jeopardy,ESPNCricinfo reported.

Stokes learned on Monday, after a hearing at Bristol Crown Court, that he will face trial in August on a charge of affray alongside two other men, and the next day England announced Anderson will once again be Joe Roots deputy for a two-match campaign which starts in Auckland next week.
Injured Ben Stokes out of warm-up match against New Zealand XI
Injured Ben Stokes out of warm-up match against New Zealand XI

The opening warm-up match would have been Stokes’ first match since his last Test appearance against West Indies in September 2017 after which he was ruled out the Ashes series in the wake of his alleged involvement in a scuffle outside a Bristol City nightclub on September 25.

Speaking after Englands practice session in Hamilton, for two warm-up matches over the next four days, Anderson told BBC Test Match Special: Im delighted Joe has asked me to do it again for this series.

Besides Stokes, all-rounder Chris Woakes and Craig Overton will also miss the opening practice match due to hamstring and quad injuries respectively.

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The opening two-day warm-up match between England and New Zealand XI is slated to be held at Hamilton on Wednesday.

Though Stokes, whose last Test appearance came against Windies in September 2017, is expected to play in the second warm-up game from March 16, he misses the opportunity to play with the pink ball, to be used in the first warm-up game, ahead of the first Test against New Zealand which is also going to be a Day-Night affair.

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A minor back injury to England allrounder Ben Stokes has ruled him out of the first two-day warm-up fixture against New Zealand XI in Hamilton, starting from Wednesday (March 14). It is believed that the setback is not serious enough to put his highly-anticipated Test return – against New Zealand next week – in jeopardy.

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James Anderson replaces Ben Stokes as England vice-captain
James Anderson replaces Ben Stokes as England vice-captain

Stokes out of first warm-up match with minor back injury

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England allrounder Ben Stokes, who will return to the longest format of cricket in the two-Test series against New Zealand from next Thursday in Auckland, will not take up the vice-captaincy role for the team. The 26-year old, who will be playing his first Test since the drunken brawl incident outside a nightclub in Bristol last September, will be replaced by veteran seamer James Anderson, who has held the role in his absence during the Ashes in December.

However, Anderson had to deputise as Stokes missed the Ashes having been charged along with two other men – Ryan Ali and Ryan Hale – following an incident in Bristol in September, when he was arrested during a night out after the one-day international against West Indies.

Stokes out as vice-captain with Anderson keeping role

The 35-year old fast bowler, who was praised by coach Trevor Bayliss for his performance last week, spoke to BBC and said that he was delighted when skipper Joe root approached him to continue with the role.

“I know what my job is for the team – Ive got to take wickets with that new ball, create pressure during the middle periods as well, try to take wickets, and help the other bowlers out as well.

“I’m delighted Joe has asked me to do it again for this series. It doesn’t change my role in the team a huge amount,” the right-armer said. He further went on to add that he will help the players on the field when they need any advice. “I see myself as a senior player and I’m there for people if they need advice. Certainly, if Joe needs help on the field, I’m there for him,” he said.

The fast bowler, who has played 134 Tests for his country, added that as a senior player, it is his duty to help his captain in the middle. “It’s a big group effort when we go on the field, so it’s important that we get that right. It’s not just my job; it’s Joe’s, Alastair Cook and Stuart Broad have plenty of experience, and the coaches as well who have been around the block. It’s our job to help out where we can and try to help this team progress,” he said.

There was a big jump for Proteas stalwart AB de Villiers after his fabulous performances in the Australia series so far. He moved back in the top 10 as he climbed five spots to claim the seventh spot in the rankings.

England went on to win the 5-match ODI series by 3-2 against New Zealand. The series marked the return of Stokes in England colours and paved his way back to the team.

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