Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler
Ben Stokes (L) with Jos Buttler during a practice session (Getty Images)

England will have to make a tough call for the third Test against India following the return for allrounder Ben Stokes who missed the second game on account of his affray trial.

He was pronounced not guilty on Tuesday making it a no-brainer for England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to include him in the squad for the Trent Bridge Test. However, his replacement at Lord’s Chris Woakes marked a memorable return to Test cricket with a maiden hundred and four wickets in the match. With Sam Curran also putting up strong performances, it will be a tough call for Joe Root and coach Trevor Bayliss who they leave out of the playing XI.

England wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler cannot wait for Stokes to join the squad but he feels team management will have a difficult time in deciding the final combination.

“It will be a tough selection for the third Test at Trent Bridge, Buttler wrote in his blog for Sky Sports. “Sam Curran and Chris Woakes have won the Man of the Match awards in the first two Tests and, with Ben Stokes coming back into the squad, it will be a difficult decision for the coach and captain.”

Stokes’ deadly spell on the fourth morning of the first Test at Edgbaston swung the game in England’s favour and then the trial meant he was forced to miss the skip the following match. Buttler, though, feels Stokes will be part of England’s playing XI as they aim to wrap up the series.

“Stokes walks into most teams around the world and so, back available, I’m sure he will be one of the first names on the team sheet. I’m looking forward to seeing him joining us back at training,” he wrote. “It has been a difficult 10 or 11 months for him, I’m sure, but it’s important for him that he can get back to being the amazing cricketer we know and love.”