Divided opinions on Stokes' inclusion in squad

There are some who feel the all-rounder has paid enough for his indiscretions by losing the vice-captaincy and missing the Ashes, while there are others who believe he has brought the game into disrepute.

England's Ben Stokes during a training session at Trent Bridge.   -  Getty Images

The inclusion of Ben Stokes in the England team for the third Test has divided opinion. There are those who feel the all-rounder has paid enough for his indiscretions by losing the vice-captaincy and missing the Ashes, while there are others who believe he has brought the game into disrepute.

There are others still who wonder if Stokes is in the right frame of mind to play a Test match after coming through what must have been a stressful trial in Bristol.

Stokes, who was found not guilty of affray after being involved in an ugly street brawl on a night out, is also set to face a Cricket Disciplinary Committee set up by the ECB.

"There’s nothing automatic about selections and we’ll see how he is mentally as well as physically," the England coach Trevor Bayliss said here on Thursday.

Read: Cleared Stokes fuels fiery debate about his future

"He hasn’t played for a couple of weeks. He’s been a guy that in the past has been able to come in and perform without having played a lot of cricket. We’ll take that into consideration. But also, when someone gets injured — someone else comes into the team and does well, it’s a bit difficult for that injured played to come back in."

Bayliss was pleased that Stokes had been cleared and was now free to concentrate on cricket. "It’s good to have him back around the squad. I’m happy for Ben that’s all over," he said.

"It was a collective decision [to include him in the squad]. It was basically thought that for his own wellbeing, it was good to get him back around cricket."

The Australian felt Stokes had learnt his lesson. "He certainly understands that he was out when he shouldn’t have been and got involved with something that he shouldn’t have been involved in. I’m sure it has been a wake-up call for him," he said.

Bayliss stated that Stokes had apologized to the team for his behaviour, but agreed that he had to express his contrition publicly. "Certainly [he should apologize publicly]. I think it was important to actually apologize to the boys in the team, management of the team and the ECB. I'm sure something will be forthcoming."

Also read: It will be a tough selection for third Test, says Jos Buttler

England had thought a lot about team culture after the Bristol incident, Bayliss revealed, adding that star athletes had to be careful. "Sportsmen are human beings as well and throughout society there are these sorts of incidents and I suppose there’s going to be a small amount of indiscretion from sports people as well,” he said.

“No one is saying it’s right. Certainly not. All sportsmen have to have a good hard look at themselves and not put themselves in those types of situations."