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‘I’ll pick and I’ll choose where I want to play and when I want to play’: Tim Paine questions Ben Stokes’ decision

Former Australia captain Tim Paine has questioned England all-rounder Ben Stokes decision to coming out of the ODI retirement and said the England’s Test skipper has made it all about himself.

Ben Stokes, who has called time on his ODI career 13 months ago has now decided to come out of retirement for the upcoming World Cup in India.

“Ben Stokes coming out of one day retirement, I found that interesting. It was a bit of, ‘Me, me, me’, there isn’t it? It was, ‘I’ll pick and I’ll choose where I want to play and when I want to play’, and, ‘I’ll play in the big tournaments,’” Paine said on SEN Tassie.

“The guys who played for 12 months, ‘Sorry, thanks. But can you go and sit on the bench because I want to play now?’.”

The return of Stokes — England’s match-winner in the 2019 Cricket World Cup final against New Zealand at Lord’s — appears to have squeezed out Harry Brook, who was missing from the squad despite a brilliant start to his international career in the test and T20 formats.

The 32-year-old Stokes played in the recently completed Ashes series despite a long-standing knee injury which prevented him from bowling as much as usual. He was planning to use the rest of the year to recover in time for the test series in India starting in January.

Stokes will be used solely as a batter in ODIs going forward, England selector Luke Wright had said.

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“I don’t know, he’s not bowling. Harry Brook or Ben Stokes? As a bat. It would be very close, very, very close,” says Paine.

Paine admits that the defending champions England will enter the tournaments as favourites alongside India.

“Probably (England are now favourites), them and India,” Paine said.

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“I think the Aussies if they can get hot (they can also win).”

England squad for ODI series against New Zealand and Cricket World Cup:

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Jos Buttler (captain), Moeen Ali, Gus Atkinson, Jonny Bairstow, Sam Curran, Liam Livingstone, Dawid Malan, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, Reece Topley, David Willey, Mark Wood, Chris Woakes.

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