England’s star batter, Joe Root, has offered an encouraging update on the status of all-rounder Ben Stokes as they prepare to face Afghanistan in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup.
Ben Stokes, who recently reversed his retirement decision, had been sidelined from England’s opening two World Cup matches against New Zealand and Bangladesh due to a hip injury. Root, during a pre-match press conference, shed light on Stokes’ availability and progress.
“Yeah, Woakes (Ben Stokes) was on the bus today, which is a great sign, so I’m sure he’ll enjoy training, see where he’s at, and Ben seems to be getting better day by day. He trained really well last night, had a long bat, did his running, and seems to be improving, so all good signs ahead of tomorrow,” Root affirmed.
Root also emphasized the importance of Stokes’ presence in the team, saying, “I think he’s just got to be ready to play. Thankfully, I’m not in that position anymore. As we all know, having a team with Ben in it makes us a lot stronger. But he’s got to be fit to play, and we’ll see whether that’s the case for tomorrow, the next game, or further down the line.”
Switching gears to discuss his own form and the conditions in India, Root expressed his comfort with playing in the subcontinent. “No, I’ve felt like I do enjoy playing cricket here in India; I think it suits my game quite nicely. I did find that New Zealand series quite strange, trying to find myself in a good place. When you get here and you’re in that tournament mentality, it’s a different frame of mind. I think that really helped me coming out here; you’ve got a real purpose to what you’re doing,” Root explained.
England is set to face Afghanistan on Sunday at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in New Delhi. The return of Ben Stokes, if he’s deemed fit to play, would undoubtedly bolster England’s prospects in the World Cup as they look to make their mark in the tournament. The cricketing world eagerly awaits Stokes’ return and the impact he can make on England’s campaign.