Root praises outstanding Stokes

01 March 2018 08:16:07 EST

Team-mate Joe Root has hailed the sparkling return to the England set-up of all-rounder Ben Stokes, who starred in a second ODI win over New Zealand.

Stokes, who was forced to miss the whole of the recent tour of Australia, is back on the international stage in the ongoing five-match one-day series against the Black Caps.

I've always said he's such an integral part of this team in all formats.

Joe Root

In the first ODI he took two wickets and made 12 with the bat, before stepping up his performance level in Mount Mounganui as the tourists leveled the series score at 1-1.

Man of the match Stokes helped in two runouts, took two wickets and made 63 not out as England won by six wickets.

And Test skipper Root says he was not surprised by how Stokes performed, as he told reporters: "It's testament to just how good a player he actually is. I've always said he's such an integral part of this team in all formats.

"He proved that last night - in all three disciplines he was outstanding. He set the standard, took vital wickets, run-outs and then obviously knocked the runs off so convincingly.

"I think most important is the fact that now he is back, to get a good start under his belt will give him a lot of confidence.

"He always gives everything on the field and last night was just another example of that."

The third ODI of five takes place in Wellington on Saturday, with England 8/11 to win and take a 2-1 series lead, while Stokes is 6/1 to be top team batsman and 7/2 to be top team bowler.

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