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25 Feb 2018 15:10
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  •   Home > News > Sports > Cricket

    Stokes arrival a boost for England: Malan

    Ben Stokes' return to the England cricket squad will be a boost for them on Kiwi soil, according to teammate Dawid Malan.

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

    The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has confirmed the Kiwi-born Stokes will arrive in Hamilton on Friday 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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