'You've got a match-winner there' - England boosted by Ben Stokes return




The return of Ben Stokes will give the English Twenty20 tri-series squad a major pick-me-up, batsman Dawid Malan says.

Ben Stokes bowls

Ben Stokes bowls

Source: Photosport

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has confirmed the Kiwi-born Stokes will arrive in Hamilton tomorrow after appearing at Bristol Magistrates' Court on Tuesday charged with affray, along with two other men.

The 26-year-old pleaded not guilty to the charge against him, relating to an incident outside a nightclub in Bristol in September last year.

He was placed on unconditional bail.

Malan told reporters he couldn't wait to get Stokes back into the fold, after the all-rounder sat out all of their cricket on Antipodean soil this summer.

That included the side's 4-0 Ashes Test defeat.

Stokes is not being considered for selection for Sunday's must-win clash against the Black Caps in Hamilton.

But when he does make his return to the XI, potentially during the New Zealand ODIs, Malan said it would be a boon for his teammates.

"Stokes is probably one of the best all-rounders in the world, if not the best all-rounder in the world," the 30-year-old Malan said.

"He's pretty much a freak when he gets going.

"The confidence he brings to the team and the skill set he brings are unbelievable - you know, you've got a match-winner there."

Malan has come out of this month's hat-trick of T20 losses - two against Australia and the other in Tuesday's T20 clash against the Black Caps in Wellington - with greater credit than most, hitting two stylish half-centuries.

He now has three fifties in four appearances in the format.

"I think T20 has gone away from just walking out and trying to slog every ball for six - you have to be quite smart sometimes and know when to take risks, when not to take risks and which bowlers to go after," Malan said.

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