England captain Ben Stokes allayed concerns about his fitness after he was selected in an unchanged team for the second cricket test against New Zealand starting on Friday (June 10). Stokes was seen holding his side and in conversation with the team doctor during a practice on Wednesday when he bowled only a few deliveries.
The all-rounder was hampered by a side strain in the final two tests of the Ashes against Australia across December and January, while he missed most of 2021 while recovering from two finger operations, as well as because of mental health reasons. Stokes, recently appointed as captain and looking to lead England to its first test series victory since January 2021, said he was simply ‘a bit stiff’ and agreed with an assessment it was just wear and tear.
“Pretty much, yeah,” Stokes said. “It’s probably just being more sensible around training and stuff like that because when you get out there and cross that line, you want to do everything you can to help win a game for England.”
Stokes said he was in the team as a batting and bowling allrounder at Trent Bridge in Nottingham, where England will look to build on its five-wicket victory over the Black Caps at Lord’s last week. He said he had no hesitation keeping faith with the same group of players once spinner Jack Leach was passed fit to play after going through concussion protocols following a head injury in the first test at Lord’s.
England vs New Zealand, 2nd Test
Venue: Trent Bridge, Nottingham
Date & Time: June 10 to 14 at 3.30 PM IST onwards
Live Streaming and TV details: Sony Six network and SonyLIV website and app
ENG vs NZ Dream 11 Prediction
Wicketkeeper: Tom Blundell
Batters: Joe Root, Devon Conway, Alex Lees, Zak Crawley
All-rounders: Ben Stokes, Daryl Mitchell
Bowlers: James Anderson, Tim Southee, Kyle Jamieson, Matthew Potts
Captain: Joe Root
Vice-Captain: Tim Southee
ENG vs NZ Probable Playing XI
England: Zak Crawley, Alex Lees, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes (c), Ben Foakes (wk), Matthew Potts, Jack Leach, Stuart Broad, James Anderson
New Zealand: Tom Latham, Will Young, Hamish Rutherford, Devon Conway, Daryl Mitchell, Tom Blundell (wk), Kyle Jamieson, Tim Southee, Ajaz Patel, Neil Wagner, Trent Boult