Ben Stokes India England 1st Test bar brawl
Ben Stokes © Getty Images (file photo)

Ben Stokes is likely to feature in the first Test between India and England, at Edgbaston, from August 1 — five days before his trial for affray begins. England Test captain Joe Root has no doubt about Stokes’s professionalism and ability to give it his best shot even if the hearing would be a week away: “We are going to pick our best team and make sure we go into that series with the strongest squad.

“If Ben’s fit to play, he’ll be up for selection. He loves playing cricket, he loves being out there — you can see when he’s on a cricket field he’s fully engaged with what’s going on. He wants the ball all the time. He wants to be involved in what’s happening and I’m sure that will be exactly the same throughout that game.”

Stokes, charged in January for a nightclub brawl last September, had pleaded not guilty. The trial is expected to last between five to seven days. This means that Stokes may not feature in the second Test at Lord’s begins on August 9.


On a different note, Root underplayed his hundred at his home ground, Headingley, that helped England win the series against India. Root, however, was far from satisfied, saying: “It’s not a big thing, I don’t think. It’s obviously nice but I feel I’ve got a lot more to give this ODI team for hopefully a long time. Hopefully, there’s quite a few more [hundreds] left.”