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Ben Stokes to Replace Sam Curran in England XI for Third Test

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: August 17, 2018, 8:43 PM IST

Ben Stokes has been brought back into the England side for the third Test at Trent Bridge, Nottingham at the expense of Sam Curran.

The 27-year-old all-rounder missed the second Test at Lord's on account of his trial for involvement in a brawl at a nightclub last September. He was initially not included in the squad for the third Test but was called up after a jury found him not guilty of the affray charges.

Curran might feel hard-done by the decision especially after churning out a superlative all-round performance in the opening Test at Birmingham where he claimed five wickets and scored 87 runs for which he was awarded Player of the Match.

England captain Joe Root while confirming Stokes' inclusion in the Playing XI insisted the decision to drop Curran was one of the "most difficult" of his career.

"What Sam has done so far has been nothing short of high class," said Root on the eve of the third Test. "It was one of the most difficult decisions I’ve had to make as captain.

"It’s about us as a squad delivering over five games and on this occasion Sam is unfortunate to miss out. Ben is desperate to get back playing cricket. He’s desperate to get out there, put in performances and concentrate on his cricket now. He feels ready to play."

Stokes was instrumental with the ball in England's 31-run win in the first Test returning a match-haul of 6 for 113 as he troubled the Indians with his late in-dippers. His replacement for the Lord's Test Chris Woakes then scored his maiden red-ball century, and also picked up four wickets to keep his place in the side.

England's playing XI: Alastair Cook, Keaton Jennings, Joe Root (capt), Ollie Pope, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Chris Woakes, Adil Rashid, Stuart Broad, James Anderson

First Published: August 17, 2018, 5:56 PM IST

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