Ben Stokes has arrived in New Zealand ahead of playing for Canterbury this weekend.

Australia captain Steve Smith nonplussed about Ben Stokes' potential Ashes appearance

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Australia captain Steve Smith said "it does not bother us either way" regarding Ben Stokes' potential appearance in this year's Ashes down under.

Stokes missed the first Test, where England fell to a 10-wicket defeat in Brisbane, and will not return for the match in Adelaide, which gets underway on December 2.

However, it is the third Test in Perth where Stokes might make his return.

The 26-year-old was initially banned from competing in the series after an incident at a Bristol nightclub in September, where the all-rounder caused actual bodily harm to a member of the public.

However, speculation was sparked regarding Stokes' potential return following comments from England captain Joe Root after the Brisbane Test, where the batsman admitted he wondered what difference the Durham all-rounder would have made in the match.

However, in the opposing camp, the Aussie aren't fussed whether the controversial figure plays or not in the final three Tests.

"It doesn’t bother us either way," Smith said.

"It’s not our decision. But he’s another left-hander that Nathan Lyon could bowl to. He’s bowling pretty well and looks like he’s going to get all left-handers out at the moment."

Offspinner Nathan Lyon, who goes by the nickname of 'GOAT' in the Australia team, had a fantastic first Test, in which he took five wickets against Trevor Bayliss' team in Brisbane. 

Ben Stokes New Zealand Airport Arrival

"I read something on Twitter the other day about a trend that’s been occurring with him since the start of 2016. He’s got out LBW a lot.

"It’s nice that we are able to open up that side of his bat, and I saw him working on it in the nets the other day, so he’s trying to fix those issues.

"That’s tough to do in the middle of the series, so he’ll have some things going through his head out in the middle. That’s something we can play on out there as well."

Stokes is set to compete for Canterbury after signing for the New Zealand side on November 30. He will compete in an 50-over match against Otago in Rangiora on Sunday.

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Australia cricket
The Ashes
England cricket

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