Bayliss welcomes Stokes options

14 February 2018 11:45:18 EST

Head coach Trevor Bayliss admits that the recent absence of all-rounder Ben Stokes has given England a major headache in trying to field a balanced side.

Stokes missed the whole of the tour of Australia due to off-field issues, but is about to fly out to New Zealand, where he could feature in both one-day and Test match action.

I think one of the biggest things we've missed over the summer has been the combinations we've been able to play.

Trevor Bayliss

And Bayliss is looking forward to seeing where Stokes is with his game, having been absent for a lengthy period, with the England coach relishing the prospect of having a major player back in the fold.

He told reporters: "Apart from the way he plays, he's a quality batter and bowler and our best fielder and one of the leaders in our squad.

"I think one of the biggest things we've missed over the summer has been the combinations we've been able to play. Right throughout the summer we've been down to five bowlers, especially in the one-dayers and T20s.

"We've been able to have six bowlers before, which gives the captain plenty of different options. I think that's what we've missed the most apart from his individual performances."

Stokes won't feature in the ongoing Trans-Tasman T20 series featuring England, New Zealand and Australia, but is being lined up for the ODIs and Tests against the Black Caps which follow.

Bayliss added: "We have got to get him up to speed and hopefully during this one-day series we can get him back into the team.

"The reason we are getting him out here as soon as we can is that we can get him up to speed, so he is available for selection as early as possible."

Meanwhile, England are 3/1 to win the 2019 World Cup on home soil, while they can be backed at 5/1 to triumph at the 2020 World Twenty20.

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