Stokes boosts England by bowling in nets before first Test against Pakistan

Stokes took nine wickets in the first two Tests against West Indies
First Test: England v Pakistan
Venue: Emirates Old Trafford Dates: 5-9 August Start time: 11:00 BST
Coverage: Ball-by-ball Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra, BBC Radio 4 LW, BBC Sounds, and BBC Sport website & app with live text commentary & in-play highlights (UK only). Highlights each evening on BBC Two

England all-rounder Ben Stokes bowled at training on Monday as he strives for full fitness for the first Test against Pakistan which starts on Wednesday.

Stokes, 29, did not bowl in the third Test against West Indies because of a quad injury, instead playing as a specialist batsman.

Although England are yet to decide if Stokes will bowl against Pakistan, early signs are positive.

He bowled at good pace in the middle, and later in the nets to Zak Crawley.

If Stokes is fit to bowl in the first Test at Emirates Old Trafford, it would likely mean England revert to picking three frontline seamers and recalling batsman Crawley, rather than playing four seamers as they did in the 269-run win against West Indies last week.

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