England will have to do without their pair of all-rounders in the first warm-up game ahead of their two test series against New Zealand.

Ben Stokes and Chris Woakes are both reported to be carrying small injuries, and England Cricket will exercise caution and sit them out for the first preparation game in Hamilton.

Durham star Stokes had been absent throughout the entire Ashes series following his legal troubles after an incident in Bristol, and Warwickshire utility-man Woakes missed the final test of the 4-0 defeat in Sydney.

The duo can provide game-changing performances with the ball or the bat, and head coach Trevor Bayliss will be hoping they can do just that against a well-matched New Zealand team.

Stokes’ return to the England set-up has seen him participate in the limited overs matches in New Zealand, where he turned in a series of good showings to propel England to a 3-2 series win in ODI play.


You can read our predicted starting XI for the first test against New Zealand here.