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Stokes' absence chance for youngsters, says Root

London, Oct 28 (IANS) England Test captain Joe Root said on Saturday that the absence of all-rounder Ben Stokes from the upcoming Ashes tour will be an opportunity for other young players to prove their mettle and cement a place in the side.

Stokes, who got into a brawl outside a bar will not travel to Australia with the police case still open and internal disciplinary procedures on hold for now.

“I think we’ve got to plan as if he’s not going to be there for the whole series,” Espncricinfo quoted the 26-year-old as saying.

“Ben offers a lot to the team but, as I said, it’s an opportunity for other guys to stand up. In difficult situations, a lot of the time, people do surprise themselves and surprise you and are capable of more than what they might even think themselves,” Root added.

Root also said the five-match Test series against Australia which is slated to get underway from November 23 will be an opportunity for the side to develop better as an unit.

“This is one of those occasions when you might just see that and there’s also some guys that have been given another opportunity, who will be desperate to take that. As a side I look at where we are and how we’ve grown as a team and think that this is a great opportunity for us to keep developing and move forward again,” Root said.

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