Sports

ICC ODI World Cup 2023: Ben Stokes Doubtful For Opener With Hip Injury

England won't rush Ben Stokes into the playing XI against New Zealand if he is not completely fit, skipper captain Jos Buttler said on Wednesday, hinting that the explosive batter might not start in the World Cup opener.

Ben Stokes in action during the third ODI against NZ on Wednesday.
info_icon

England won't rush Ben Stokes into the playing XI against New Zealand if he is not completely fit, skipper captain Jos Buttler said on Wednesday, hinting that the explosive batter might not start in the World Cup opener. Stokes, who came out of his retirement early this year, is dealing with a hip niggle and may join rival skipper Kane Williamson on the sidelines. (Full Coverage | StreamingSchedule | Cricket News)

Jos Buttler said a final call will be taken on the match day.

"We will see how everyone pulls up. But we've been nursing a few guys over the last month or so. Hopefully we'll have a clean bill of health to pick from," Buttler told media on the eve of the match.

"We will make the right call. Whether he's not fit to play, or fit to play. If he is, then we can make that decision," Buttler said.

"But it is not a time to take big risks on someone at the start of the tournament. Nearer the end, maybe do take more of a risk with people's injuries. It is going to be a long tournament," Buttler continued.

Stokes did not take part in either of England's two warm-up matches but for Buttler that is not a concern. 

"He doesn't play many of them to be honest. But now he's got a slight sort of niggle with his hip, fingers crossed that it will be good news for us. Just to clarify, he's had a slight niggle. He's working hard with the physios," he added.

Buttler said he feels no pressure as the captain of the side that won the last edition's title in 2019. 

"No, not for me. I think I've spoken quite a bit about not feeling like we're defending anything. We're here very much in the same position now as every other team. We're here to try and win the World Cup," he said.

Buttler, who plays for Rajasthan Royals in the IPL, says the tournament has provided familiarity with venues and travel in India in general. 

"I think it gives us a lot of familiarity with the venues and the travel around India, the hotels you stay in and those kinds of things. So, we know what to expect,” he said.

"Obviously, we're playing 50-over cricket, not 20-over cricket as you would in the IPL. And lots of the other teams are in a similar position with that. Many players from all around the world come here and experience the IPL,” he added.  

"I believe that's an advantage for most teams to have played quite a bit of cricket in India."

The England captain said his team's aggressive brand of cricket might also not get desired results but adapting would be key in India.

"I think there is big skill in it, there'll be lots of different wickets we'll play on around the country. There can be some of the best batting wickets in the world. Some of them can be a little bit on the slower side, some can spin," he said.

"Reading the conditions quickly will be a big part of the game. But we will always try and adapt our style of attacking cricket to whatever surfaces we're playing on."

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement