Ben Stokes
Ben Stokes (Getty Images)

Former England captain Nasser Hussain believes that Ben Stokes should be selected for the Trent Bridge Test against India if he’s in the right mental space but wants the controversial allrounder to have a re-look at his attitude off the field.

Despite a match-winning spell at Edgbaston against India, Stokes missed the second Test as he was to attend his trail for affray. On Tuesday, he was found not guilty following which England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) swiftly added his name to the squad for the third Test after initially not naming him.

Another former England captain Michael Vaughan has also backed for Stokes’ inclusion in the playing XI for the 3rd Test. Hussain echoed his views but advised the 27-year-old New Zealand-born cricketer mend his ways.

Speaking to Sky Sports, the former cricketer-turned-commentator said, “Ben is a pretty simple guy – he is most comfortable, most happy playing cricket for England. He loves it. It’s all he wants to do, to be honest. If he says he is available to play then Joe, who knows him well, will want him back.

He then added, “Importantly, I think Stokes needs to have a long, hard look at himself – it’s a couple of times now he has been in the press for the wrong reasons.”

Stokes was arrested last September after his alleged involvement in a brawl near a Bristol nightclub. Hussain termed Stokes as ‘pleasant’ and ‘ down-to-earth’ but asked him to decide how he wants to be portrayed in the media.

“The Ben I know and who I see around the cricket team is a popular, unassuming, down-to-earth, very pleasant individual that will stay after a game and do autographs with kids for an hour and give his time. But I only see Stokes at cricket, so Ben has to make a decision – the image we see of him at cricket is probably not the image that has been portrayed over the last six months in the newspapers,” Hussain said.

Despite Stokes missing the Lord’s Test, England sealed a comfortable innings victory against the No. 1 ranked India. His replacement Chris Waokes was churned out a man-of-the-match performances with a maiden hundred and four wickets in Test.

Hussain wants him back in the squad and praised him for dealing with the intense scrutiny he faced on account of his impending trial. “As far as selection goes, Ben is one of the best XI cricketers in the country and has been found innocent in a court of law, although, obviously, [coach] Trevor Bayliss and [captain] Joe Root have to look at Ben mentally,” he said.

“I am amazed how well he has coped mentally over the last few months with this hanging over him and as long as they feel he is mentally fit for selection then they should pick him,” he further added.