England's opener against New Zealand in Cricket World Cup 2023 uncertain due to Ben Stokes.

Ben Stokes’ participation in England’s World Cup opener against New Zealand on Thursday is uncertain due to a hip issue. Captain Jos Buttler downplayed the concern but acknowledged the importance of not taking risks in the early stages of the seven-week tournament.

England’s Test captain, aged 32, made a comeback despite a persistent knee injury. Buttler emphasized the need to be cautious with players’ injuries during the lengthy competition.

Should Stokes be unavailable, Harry Brook, a late replacement for Jason Roy, is the likely substitute. England trained at the expansive 130,000-seat Narendra Modi Stadium, the venue for the tournament opener.

Stokes last played on September 13 when he scored a record 182 against New Zealand in the third one-day international. Buttler mentioned a slight hip niggle but remained hopeful about his fitness.

Credit By Photo: www.theguardian.com

Stokes’ knee issues restrict his role to that of a batter, as opposed to his all-rounder capabilities. England has the luxury of time in the round-robin stage, with the top four advancing to the semi-finals.

The memory of their thrilling 2019 World Cup victory will not impact their upcoming clash with New Zealand, according to Buttler, who acknowledged the Kiwis’ strength as an excellent team.

England recently won a 3-1 ODI series against New Zealand, but the conditions for Thursday’s game will be markedly different with scorching temperatures predicted.

New Zealand faces its own injury concerns, with captain Kane Williamson and bowler Tim Southee recovering from injuries. they have a strong recent tournament record.

Buttler expressed his reluctance to label England as “defending champions,” preferring to see them as a team ready to attack the World Cup once again after their recent successes in the T20 format.

Reference

https://www.bbc.com/sport/cricket/67007279

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2023/oct/04/ben-stokes-an-injury-doubt-for-englands-cricket-world-cup-opener-with-new-zealand

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