Root thrilled to have Stokes back for New Zealand Test series

Stokes was able to bat but not bowl during England's warm-up match at Seddon Park

Stokes was able to bat but not bowl during England's warm-up match at Seddon Park

Ben Stokes lends the balance that England so desperately seemed to miss in the Ashes.

That was under Eoin Morgan's captaincy, so this Test series is the first time Root has had him under his charge since the West Indies home series, which was also Stokes' last first-class cricket at the start of September.

He now has three active International Cricket Council (ICC) demerit points to his name and a further offence in the Auckland Test will activate an automatic one-match suspension.

NZ Cricket is forecasting a total crowd of 50-60,000 people for the test so White says more than 10,000 fans per day would be a good result for them.

South Africa paceman Rabada was banned for two matches after brushing against the shoulder of Steven Smith in the second test against Australia but was cleared by the ICC to play in the remainder of the series after winning an appeal.

Asked if it can be a challenge to contain Stokes' cricketing energy between matches, Root said: "You have to try".

Stokes' previous demerit points were picked up between October 2016 and September 2017 and will remain for a period of 24 months. "And if it's portraying an image of something you don't like, then I suppose that's on you".

Root said his biggest takeaway from that series had been the importance of his team being on their game at all times.

New Zealand: Jeet Raval, Tom Latham, Kane Williamson (capt), Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, Colin de Grandhomme, BJ Watling (wk), Todd Astle, Tom Southee, Neil Wagner, Matt Henry, Trent Boult, Martin Guptill. "Just the calmness, the confidence and its reflected in how much success he's had this year, but probably every other year as well".

While Root did not completely nail his colours to the mast over Broad's role - as with the bowler himself, the word "flexible" was used often - it is clearly at the forefront of his mind as he looks to solutions to England's slipping Test fortunes on the road.

Williamson described it as a "slightly unique and exciting opportunity", but was aware the teams were heading into the unknown.

"When we're in any position of strength, being ruthless and really driving home the importance of staying on top and making it really count is something I want us as a team to get better at".

"There is probably a danger of over-complicating some of the finer parts of the pink-ball game", he said, pointing to variable characteristics at different stages of the ball, times of day and in different climates.

"There's definitely some unknowns".

"There's heaps of different stats but there's still unknowns".

"The sample size of pink-ball cricket is fairly small, but it's important that you adapt as a change of conditions may happen coming into different stages of the day".

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