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Ben Stokes’ re-emergence at Canterbury only adds to English uncertainty | Vic Marks

Ben Stokes’s decision to head for New Zealand and play some one-day cricket would only be worth it in the highly unlikely event he is to play for England in the third Test at Perth

As General Bernard Montgomery once said – and I think rightly: “In my profession you have to mystify the enemy.” Well, Andrew Strauss, England’s cricket director, may have achieved a modicum of success in this department. The only problem is that his own side is even more confused.

On a tour of Australia the passion of every Test has a tendency to give way to pantomime in between matches. We have gone from head-butts to Heathrow within the space of 24 hours. No sooner had Strauss done his utmost to put the complexities of the Bairstow/Bancroft greeting ritual to bed than the cricketing world was confronted by pictures of the alleged backside (we cannot be too careful in these litigious times) of Ben Stokes heading towards an aircraft bound for the southern hemisphere en route to Christchurch, New Zealand, where he allegedly might play cricket in Canterbury on Sunday in the Ford Trophy against the Otago Volts and perhaps even in the Burger King Super Smash T20 competition thereafter.

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