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England head coach Bayliss to decide on Stokes' return

Credit: PA

England head coach Trevor Bayliss will decide over the next two days whether Ben Stokes is ready to make his Test return.

The influential all-rounder was acquitted of affray on Tuesday after a much-publicised trial at Bristol Crown Court and instantly recalled to the England squad ahead of the third Test against India, which starts on Saturday.

Speaking at a press conference in Nottingham on Thursday, Bayliss said: "It's good to have him back around the squad.

"I'm happy for Ben and glad it's all over. I haven't actually spoken to him since...but I've got the next two days to assess where he's at."

Bayliss continued: "It's a good position to be in. Whether he plays or not we've got some guys in good form in the team.

"It's a difficult decision whoever misses out, whether it's Ben or anyone else. It's a position we've been trying to get into for a while. We have some good young players coming in."

On Stokes' recall to the squad, the Australian continued: "It was a collective decision. Myself, the management, the captain, Andy Flower, the board - everyone had a bit of a say and basically thought for his (Stokes') own wellbeing it was good to get him back around the cricket.

"There's nothing automatic about selections, we'll see how he is mentally as well as physically. He's not played for a couple of weeks. It's a difficult decision to make."

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