England coach Trevor Bayliss has warned Ben Stokes not to risk injury by pushing himself too hard in training.

The 27-year-old was struggling physically by the end of Tuesday’s record one-day defeat to Sri Lanka, struck by several outbreaks of cramp in his right calf during his battling innings of 67.

Stokes required treatment from the physio on a handful of occasions as the tourists ended a successful series with a crushing 219-run defeat on the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method and felt discomfort in his arm after returning to the dressing room.

As the team’s premier all-rounder his workload is only going to increase during next month’s three-match Test series, a contest which is likely to take place in sapping heat.

Stokes is an insatiable worker, in the nets and the gym, but Bayliss feels he may need to go a little easier on himself to stay at his peak.

“I think he is slowly starting to believe that he may not be able to go 100 per cent every single time and train a little bit smarter, especially in these types of conditions,” Bayliss told Sky Sports.

“We’ve got a couple of days off now so that will give him a bit of time to recover. But we’ll have another chat about how much work he does.”

Asked if he had considered asking the player to retire hurt when it became apparent England were heading for defeat, Bayliss added: “That crossed our minds, but we didn’t bother asking Stokesy because we knew what the answer would be.” 

While England’s interest in keeping one of their key men fresh is understandable, Stokes’ willingness to throw himself into his work is telling.

He has missed more cricket than he would like in the past year, sitting out the 2017/18 Ashes following an incident outside a Bristol nightclub as well as missing a Test against India in August where he was found not guilty of affray.

Both he and batsman Alex Hales face a cricket disciplinary committee hearing in December on counts of bringing the game into disrepute but, for now, Stokes is focused on the job at hand.

“I have never seen him work so hard on his fitness, we have finished games and he’s still be on the treadmill afterwards, or doing sprints at grounds,” said team-mate Mark Wood.

“He loves cricket, he’ll not admit he’s a cricket badger (fanatic) but he is, so he’s been hammering the fitness and his focus has been solely on his cricket, how he can improve.

“To me his mind seems in a good place, he doesn’t seem flustered, around the group he’s his same daft self. Every other night we have been having games of Mario Kart me, him and Rooty and he’s been exactly the same – competitive.”

England have been given two full days off ahead of Saturday’s standalone Twenty20, when Bayliss will be hoping for a more disciplined effort from his seam attack.

The Australian offered a none-too-subtle warning that the pace bowling department was the only one the selectors were still assessing with an eye to next summer’s World Cup and hard decisions would be coming.

“It’s one thing giving guys an opportunity but those guys have to take hold of that…those opportunities could determine who makes a World Cup squad and who doesn’t,” he said

“It’s a tough school, international cricket. I’m sure the guys are disappointed. We look forward to the guys making up for it in the next game. 

“The closer we get to the World Cup we will play our number one team more often. We will have to wait and see how things pan out. It gets down to pace bowling because our batting and spinners are pretty set.”