Friday, 15 December, 2017

Ben Stokes, Alex Hales named in England ODI squad against Australia

Ben Stokes was out LBW to Tarun Nethula for 34 PHIL WALTER GETTY IMAGES Ben Stokes was out LBW to Tarun Nethula for 34
Sammy Stanley | 08 December, 2017, 01:05

Although Stokes has been selected for the ODI series but he will play only if he is cleared by the police.

Suspended all-rounder Ben Stokes and controversial batsman Alex Hales, who last made the headlines for all the wrong reasons, has been included in the 16-man England One-Day International (ODI) squad for the five-match series against Australia starting in January.

Stokes has since returned to competitive action in New Zealand with Canterbury and the European Central Bank has said it will make a swift decision on his availability once it receives confirmation of whether Stokes has been charged.

Fit-again paceman Mark Wood, who has been tipped to contend for a start in the third Ashes Test in Perth as England seek to bounce back from successive defeats, and wicketkeeper Sam Billings return to England's ODI squad, which will once again be captained by Eoin Morgan.

The Christchurch-born Stokes is not available for selection until the Crown Prosecution Service decides whether to charge him and once a decision is made, the England and Wales Cricket Board [ECB] will decide on disciplinary action.

"Selectors were given clear guidance to name their strongest squad and have made their selections accordingly", an European Central Bank release stated.

The 26-year-old has not played since being arrested following an incident outside a Bristol nightclub in September. I can't see any changes there personally. The two openers we had did very well and it would be hard to go against them.

'We can bring Hales back in and drop one of those guys down, but then it would be someone else upset as well. "We've got to take a decision now and I just think the best way to go is with the two guys who have taken over", he added further.

A squad for the Twenty20 tri-series in February, that also involves New Zealand, are yet to be named but it is expected to see Test players such as Root and Moeen Ali rested.

"History will tell you that the winners of the World Cup have come from the top two ranked teams".

With Joe Root coming in at No 3, Morgan - the captain - at No 4, and the likes of Jos Buttler and Moeen Ali also in the middle order, the chances are Hales will need an injury to, or a drastic loss of form by, a team-mate to reclaim his place. "That's been discussed - but whenever he comes back it's going to be a bit of a circus for sure. If it happens, let's just get on with it and take it on the chin", concluded the English coach.

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