Stokes ready to bowl as fielding is ‘boring’

England

England all-rounder Ben Stokes says he is fit to bowl in the third ODI against Pakistan, and hopes his skipper calls on him because standing in the field without a bowl bores him to tears.

Stokes played the first two ODIs, both of which England won, as a pure batsman ahead of Jonny Bairstow, as Stokes was struggling with a calf injury.

Stokes said he was surprised to be picked ahead of an in-form Bairstow, but was not going to complain about game time, even though fielding alone was very boring to him.

Stokes said: “I was a bit surprised I got the nod ahead of Jonny. Since South Africa he has shown amazing form.

“But at the same time it’s nice to get that confidence from your captain and coach saying we want you to play as a specialist batsman.

“Not bowling makes the fielding innings seem a lot longer. It’s so boring. If you bowl 10 overs, it kind of takes 20 overs out of the game for you.

“But knowing I wasn’t going to bowl in these first two games, I worked longer on my batting in the build-up days. It’s normally quite hard to get everything into training that I want, so it’s been quite nice to solely concentrate on the batting in these first two games.

“But I will be going into the next training session trying to put my hand up and say I am fit to bowl.”

He added: “The plan from the start was to be fit and ready to bowl by the third ODI. By the way things are going it is looking likely I will be an option for Eoin Morgan in Nottingham if needed.

“I have done all the prep to get myself fit and put my hand up and say I am ready to bowl. I bowled for about 15 minutes flat out and all the build-up stuff I needed to do has been done.”

The third of five ODIs will be played at Trent Bridge on Tuesday.

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