Opportunity knocks for Stokes ahead of Bairstow, Ballance

England

All-rounder Ben Stokes is determined to capitalise during a key two-day tour fixture against the Cricket Australia Chairman's XI, in a bid to secure a berth in England's squad for the second Ashes Test, which will get underway in Adelaide on 5 December.

All-rounder Ben Stokes is determined to capitalise during a key two-day tour fixture against the Cricket Australia Chairman's XI, in a bid to secure a berth in England's squad for the second Ashes Test, which will get underway in Adelaide on 5 December.

Stokes and the inexperienced Gary Ballance and Jonny Bairstow are jostling to fill the void lefty by batsman Jonathan Trott, who has departed the tour due to a stress-related illness.

While the talented Ian Bell, Joe Root or Kevin Pietersen are likely to secure the number three position in Trott's absence, a spot awaits one of Ballance, Bairstow or Stokes at six in the order.

"Obviously, there's going to be a place up for grabs, and this game does come at a good time for us for the selection reasons," said Stokes.

"There's three guys trying to take the chance to get that spot, and these days are a good chance for one of us to put our hands up and get in there for Adelaide."

The New Zealand-born Stokes cherished a solid stretch of form during the ODI series against the Australians earlier this year, including a telling five-wicket haul in the fifth and final fixture at the Rose Bowl in Southampton.

"Everyone's going to go out there and make sure they put their hand up and prove a point that they want to be out here and be in that second Test match," added Stokes.

"Whoever does take that role will definitely have the skills to come in and fill that spot. If it's not me I'll wish them all the best."

Seamer Tim Bresnan, meanwhile, continued a promising return from a back injury for the England Performance Programme against Queensland's second XI on Thursday.

Bresnan initially struck a superb half-century in a total of 376 for nine at the Allan Border Field, and later reduced the hosts to a mere 156 all out with figures of four for 31.

Latest