Root: You get three players with Stokes


England skipper Joe Root welcomed the return to the Test squad of allrounder Ben Stokes ahead of the first Test against New Zealand.

Root feels that Stokes’ versatility and ability in all three facets of the game make him a player who would improve any team.

The skipper told Sky Sports: “You get three players with Ben, and certainly on his day probably the best three players within the side all in one.

“It is a huge boost to have him coming back into the team. We have to be quite careful and make sure he is absolutely ready and be quite flexible with how we use him, especially in the first Test.

“He’s very focused on what he needs to do. Credit to him, he’s been able to manage that really well.”

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Root is desperate for England to put a positive tint to an otherwise disappointing winter downunder having lost the Ashes 4-0.

He added: “It has been a tough winter until now, but we have two Test matches to put a different stamp on it and change our momentum.

“It is a big series for us coming from a big defeat like the Ashes, so we need to make sure we put that right and come away with some success overseas – because it’s not happened for a while.”

England and New Zealand meet in the first of two Tests in Auckland starting on Thursday.