Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 13th 2015 Contents A42
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt December 13, 2015
Ben Stokes looks on
after England's Test
series defeat in the
Not a lot can be gleaned from a light
training session only hours after the
flight has touched down on a new tour,
but one sight at Senwes Park in Potch-
estfroom gave England an immediate
It was the hulking presence of Ben
Stokes, bowling pain-free again, con-
tinuing his rehabilitation from a shoulder
injury in optimistic vein.
Stokes departure from the field,
clutching his displaced right shoulder,
in in Sharjah six weeks ago invited the
Not only did it leave England a bowler
short as Pakistan completed a 2-0 win
in the series, it smacked off a long-term
But Stokes, according to England s
coach Trevor Bayliss, has been gradually
steppong up his bowling for a few weeks
now and confidence abounds that the
two warm-up matches before the Boxing
Day Test in Durban will be enough to
get him back in trim.
"I m pretty confident he will be fine,"
Bayliss said at England s arrival media
conference. "He is not as guy who com-
plains too much. He has been bowling
now for a few weeks so we just have to
get a few overs out of him in competition
and a few hours with his batting."
With Steven Finn also enhancing his
prospects of a belated call-up to Eng-
land s Test tour of South Africa with a
hostile three-wicket comeback perform-
ance for England Lions in Dubai, things
are looking up for England.
Bayliss sought to dampen down the
excitement over Finn, who is recovering
from a foot injury suffered in the UAE,
careful not to encourage speculation
that he might be summoned to the sen-
ior party sooner rather than later.
"We are preparing for this tour by
planning without him," he said. "If he
proves his fitness in the UAE and we
do decide to bring him out here that
will be an absolute bonus. There are one
or two small hurdles but if he can get
through and be bowling well I would
expect to see him here at some stage."
That leaves the onus on Mark Footitt,
Chris Jordan and Chris Woakes to con-
test the final pace bowling place.
Add the potential fallout of South
Africa s recent trouncing in India and,
if the Test series has shifted at all in the
last few weeks, it has moved in England s
direction, even if South Africa remain
strong favourites with the bookmakers.
"To win away from home is very dif-
ficult," Bayliss said. "The simple fact is
we are playing the best team at home.
We are under no illusions it will be a
Bayliss indicated that England are
predisposed towards retaining Jonny
Bairstow as Test wicketkeeper, despite
the thrilling manner win which Jos But-
tler put a demoralising run of form
behind him when he recorded England s
fastest ODI century, and that Alex Hales
will make his Test debut at opener. Hales
would become Cook s eighth opening
partner since Andrew Strauss retire-
That leaves Nick Compton and Gary
Ballance to contest the No 3 spot avail-
able because of the absence of Ian Bell.
"I have a little bit of a thought who it
might be but we have two practice
matches before that first Test which
could go a long way towards finalising
that position, Bayliss said.
WELLINGTON---In an unusual clash
of sporting codes yesterday, a race-
horse owned by New Zealand cricket
captain Brendon McCullum beat
another owned by All Blacks rugby
captain Richie McCaw into second
place in a race at the Te Rapa course
McCullum s Passing Shot, at 4-1,
beat McCaw s previously unbeaten
Snapshot, the favourite at 3-1, by two
lengths in the six furlong or 1,200-
meter race. McCaw races Snapshot as
part of a syndicate including former
test teammate Ali Williams while
McCullum owns passing shot in part-
nership with New Zealand cricketers
Grant Elliott and James Franklin.
While McCaw may have been able
to watch the race, after attending the
New Zealand Rugby Awards in Auck-
land the previous evening, McCullum
was in the field in the first test against
Sri Lanka when the race took place.
Stokes progress leaves
England in good heart
McCullum trumps McCaw
in clash of captain's racehorses
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