Bayliss expects smooth England return for Stokes

England head coach Trevor Bayliss is excited at the prospect of having Ben Stokes back in the fold.

England all-rounder Ben Stokes   -  Getty Images

Ben Stokes will "fit back in pretty easily" when he links up with his England team-mates in New Zealand, according to head coach Trevor Bayliss.

The all-rounder, who pleaded not guilty to a charge of affray on Tuesday, is flying out ahead of his country's one-day international and Test series with the Black Caps.

Having been absent for England's miserable Ashes loss, Stokes will return to a side now reeling from three consecutive Twenty20 losses.

And Bayliss is excited to have the 26-year-old back in the fold. 

He told Sky Sports: "It's been a long process and to be honest we haven't given it much thought at all other than we are looking forward to getting him back in and around the squad.

"I think he will fit back in pretty easily, he's very well liked within the squad. He's a big part of the squad and has been for a few years.

"We will try to get him up to speed so that he is available for the one-day series. At this stage that will mean extra practice days. That is why we are trying to get him here as early as possible so that he is available as early as possible."

With Stokes in contention once more, Bayliss – who lamented his absence for the Ashes – feels England have a wider choice of options in team selection. 

"We would have loved to have had him during the Ashes, that's for sure," he added. "I think the biggest thing we have missed is being able to play six bowlers in our team.

"With him in the side we've got the opportunity to play five other bowlers plus him which gives the captain flexibility in any match so I think that's what we missed over the last few months."

Stokes has been released on bail and his case has been sent to Bristol Crown Court, with the first hearing -  which he is not required to attend - scheduled for March 12.

The charge relates to an incident in the city in September, when Stokes was arrested during a night out after an ODI against West Indies.

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