TL;DR: Stokes cynosure of series opener


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 global career.

"It's a different group this one-day squad". New Zealand have won eight ODIs on the bounce at home, while England usurped Australia in their own den with a 4-1 series victory.

Morgan believed that how England adapted to New Zealand conditions would be crucial to the outcome of the five-match series.

England managed just one win from four matches in the T20 tri-series that preceded the five ODIs they play against New Zealand.

Stokes was subsequently removed from the England squad by the European Central Bank for the Ashes and one-day series in Australia.

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Williamson said at his pre-match press conference: "That comes back to the cricket we want to play, our plans, our styles".

"We've got to be open to learning and improving on those weaknesses as we go along".

"They are very aggressive with the bat, and their balance is one of their biggest strengths with the number of all-rounders".

New Zealand coach Mike Hesson didn't think it would take much to rediscover their winning touch, particularly on home soil where they've been notoriously hard to crack in ODIs in recent seasons. The Nottinghamshire batsman, who this week signed an 18-month white-ball-only contract with his county, has struggled to get going since returning to the side, albeit starting at the less familiar position of No 3, with Jason Roy and Bairstow opening during the Australia ODI series.

"You can win a lot of games with the bat, but restricting and having control of the game with the ball is so powerful".

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"Adapting our game to conditions is an important part of it".

Batsman Ben Duckett was excluded from England Lions selection after pouring a pint over senior bowler James Anderson, while Jonny Bairstow had to answer for a freaky headbutt greeting to Australian batsman Cameron Bancroft in a bar in Perth.

The home side though have injury concerns over Todd Astle and Santner.

England have not yet named the playing XI for the first ODI, but skipper Eoin Morgan has hinted that Stokes will be seen playing.

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