Stokes expected to bowl on England return


The key factor is the fact that their home crowds are healthy as is, which isn't the case in many other countries, including New Zealand, a set of circumstances that could result in them playing day-night cricket with the pink ball mainly on the road.

At 31, some might have concluded Broad may slip into more of an enabling role - especially after Root handed the new ball in last week's two warm-up matches in Hamilton first to Mark Wood and then Chris Woakes.

A short holiday in Australia followed, before returning to work at Trent Bridge's indoor school, where he stripped back his action to walking pace, trying to rediscover his "feel" for bowling.

"I'm really not sure which way we'll go [in the first Test] ... we're going to be slightly less rigid in the way we go about things, just to try to create pressure for longer periods of time".

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Ali's right-arm spin made minimal impact in the 4-0 series loss in Australia over the summer, taking just five wickets at 115 runs each.

It is awesome, he says, what a little solitude and ambient music in the indoor school has helped him achieve.

The fact he never got out of the starting blocks in the Ashes means he needs to recapture the form that made him such a match-changing force against South Africa a year ago when he was Man of the Series.

"Obviously you lose your confidence from such a bad tour as a team, not just as an individual".

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Commenting on Stokes' chances to play in the opening Test, an England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) spokesperson said, "His plan is to bowl tomorrow and on Wednesday outdoors.If he comes through, which he is expected to, he will bowl in the Auckland Test".

"I've had a tough Ashes tour; I've got a lot of hunger to get in this England team, stay in it and have a lot of success".

With just 11 wickets at approaching 50 each this winter, he knows he has a point to prove again. "I didn't feel like I got much out of those pitches at all, but that can happen when you're lacking slight confidence in your action".

Speaking about potentially reaching the 400-wicket milestone at Auckland's Eden Park he added "it's one of those achievements you can look back on in years to come with some pride".

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