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Stokes, Archer, Buttler likely to skip the NZ Tests due to IPL

Ben Stokes

England cricketers have always preferred international cricket over the Indian Premier League. However, things could be different this time around as according to a report by Cricinfo, the trio of Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer might miss the Test series against New Zealand if Rajasthan Royals, their IPL franchise, reach the playoffs. Also, Chris Woakes (Delhi Capitals), Sam Curran(Chennai Super Kings) and Jonny Bairstow(Sunrisers Hyderabad) might not be available for selection. Players like Moeen Ali and Chris Woakes, who will be up for the grabs in the IPL auction are another potential absentees.

Though the official dates are not announced, it is believed that the 2021 edition of the Indian Premier League could be played between April 10 to the first week of June. In that case, if ECB allows their players to continue playing the IPL, they would miss the Test series against New Zealand that gets underway on June 2nd.

Also, there are few concerns about the availabilty of the South African players who may be selected to play of South Africa against Pakistan in the T20 series. The series will be played between April 2-16 that could mean that the likes of Quinton de Kock, Faf du Plessis, Kagiso Rabada could miss the first few matches of the IPL. 

England are currently playing a 4 match Test series against India. As per ECB’s rotation policy, the players are shuffled in the playing XI to manage their workload. The likes of Jonny Bairstow, Sam Curran and Mark Wood were not selected in the squad of the first two Tests. While Bairstow and Wood will be back for the third Test, Moeen Ali, who was the part of the second game will head back home. The next match of the series will be played in Ahmedabad and will be a day-night affair. England thrashed India in the first test but suffered a massive defeat by 317 runs at Chepauk. The visitors need to win their remaining two matches to qualify for the summit clash of the World Test Championship against New Zealand.

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