HAMILTON: Ben Stokes was confirmed in the England line-up as New Zealand won the toss and elected to bowl first in the opening one-day international in Hamilton on Sunday.
All-rounder Stokes has been out of action since his arrest following a nightclub incident last September and only rejoined the England squad in New Zealand last week.
“Having Ben Stokes back that will allow us to play a full, well-balanced side,” said England captain Eoin Morgan.
“We’re going to have to play close to our best to win this series.”
New Zealand and England finished with a win each against each other in the recent Twenty20 tri-series although New Zealand progressed to the final against Australia on a superior run rate.
Captain Kane Williamson said it was “important to move on” from that series as New Zealand switch to the ODI format where they have won their last eight matches.
“History suggests chasing here with dew, and we’re playing with an extra slow bowler,” Williamson said after winning the toss and including two spinners — Mitch Santner and Ish Sodhi — at the expense of fast bowler Lochie Ferguson.
New Zealand: Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Kane Williamson (capt), Ross Taylor, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Trent Boult
England: Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan (capt), Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Adil Rashid, David Willey, Tom Curran
Umpires: Ruchira Palliyaguruge (SRI), Shaun Haig (NZL)
TV Umpire: Rod Tucker (AUS). – AFP
Story first published: 25th February 2018