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England call spurs Stokes on

NatWest International T20

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Ben Stokes

England all-rounder Ben Stokes insists he is working hard behind the scenes to ensure he has a "bigger role to play with the ball"

All-rounder Ben Stokes is eager to improve his all-round game following his call-up to England's limited-overs squad.

The 20-year-old, who made his ODI debut in Ireland last week, was in superb form for Durham in all forms of the game at the start of the season before a nasty finger injury sidelined him for eight to nine weeks.

Stokes, a product of the county’s impressive academy, believes that despite working hard on his bowling, he has being recognised by England for his batting.

He said: "Batting is my strongest suit at the moment but I have worked pretty hard on my bowling over the winter and it was improving until the injury happened.

"I want to have a bigger role to play with the ball. As I have got older I have got stronger as I have bowled more. The rhythm and the action will come together and hopefully that will add more pace."

The injury has hindered his progress of late, meaning he will only be able to feature as a specialist batsman in Wednesday's NatWest International T20 against India at Old Trafford and the five-match NatWest Series that follows.

"I had a bad break in my finger and a dislocation.I had two operations on it and was out for eight or nine weeks,” he added.

"It was pretty frustrating, especially given how well I thought I was playing before I did it. I am not 100% fit to bowl yet but I will keep on getting treatment. Hopefully as time goes by it will get easier.It is absolutely brilliant to be selected.”

Since the injury Stokes has focused on recovering fully to help his county at the business end of the season and admits an England call-up at this stage of his career came as a shock.

"It has been said but this season has been quite frustrating with injury. I didn't let it come into my mind. I was totally focused on getting back to full fitness, back on the field for Durham. Getting picked in this has been overwhelming,” he said.

Stokes, a former England Under-19 international, managed just three in the rain-affected game in Ireland but at least feels that outing helped settle any nerves.

He said: "I think because I was making my international debut, that was big enough in itself.

"The nerves were there, especially the night before, not knowing if I was playing or not, but as soon as I got settled in and knew I was playing, the nerves went away. The game took over and I went about doing what I have been doing."

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