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Ben Stokes set to bowl in first Test against New Zealand

Ben Stokes has picked 95 wickets in Tests
Ben Stokes has picked 95 wickets in Tests

England all-rounder Ben Stokes is on track to bowl in the day-night first Test against New Zealand in Auckland after recovering from a back problem.

Stokes, who played all five One-Day Internationals against New Zealand suffered a stiff back and was forced to miss the first warm-up game against New Zealand XI. He did participate in the second tour game but did not bowl.

The Durham star bowled in the indoor nets on Monday due to rain in Auckland and will now be assessed in the next two days.

"His plan is to bowl tomorrow and on Wednesday outdoors," an England and Wales Cricket Board spokesperson said.

"If he comes through, which he is expected to, he will bowl in the Auckland Test."

If Stokes is included in the line-up as a batsman then James Vince might have to make way for him with either Dawid Malan or Joe Root moving to number three.

The two-game series will be played between 22nd March and 3rd April with Auckland and Christchurch being the venues.

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