England star Ben Stokes ‘on track’ for first Ashes Test against Australia at the Gabba

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England star Ben Stokes ‘on track’ for first Ashes Test against Australia at the Gabba
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Joe Root says Ben Stokes is on track to play the first Ashes Test next month as England begin training in Australia.

Stokes was a late addition to England’s squad having spent time out this year to manage his mental wellbeing and a serious finger injury.

England are quarantining in Queensland, but have been allowed out of their rooms to train in small groups for the last couple of days. Root says Stokes has played a full part and should be involved in the First Test on December 8 at the Gabba in Brisbane.

“Ben has been fully involved in training the last couple of days,” he says. “It has been very light, we are just trying to acclimatise as best we can. He’s had a bat, a bowl, taken some catches, doing his fielding work slightly separately.

“It looks like he’s on track and it’s really exciting. It’s managing that excitement and making sure we don’t push him too hard so he’s ready for the first game.

“I really hope so [that he will play]. It’s been remarkable to see how far he’s come. It looks very promising.”

England will be joined early next week by five members of the squad that crashed out of the T20 World Cup last night, including vice-captain Jos Buttler.

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