Thu, 24 Sep 2020

England star all-rounder Ben Stokes will miss the last two Tests of the series after travelling to New Zealand to be with his ill father.

Zak Crawley, dropped for the last two Tests in favour of an extra bowler deployed by England to compensate for Stokes' quad injury, is now set to return to England's top order.

Meanwhile England captain Joe Root, who has won his last six Tests as skipper, said it was "likely" James Anderson would play this week.

That is despite England's all-time most successful bowler having taken just six wickets in three Tests at an expensive average of over 41 apiece so far this season, including 1-67 at his Lancashire home ground last week.

But Anderson, just 10 shy of becoming the first paceman to take 600 Test wickets, has dismissed rumours of his retirement, with Root saying: "To question Jimmy's ability and his record - do that at your own peril."

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