The England Test skipper has reduced his bowling workload as he looks to manage a chronic left knee injury. He bowled only seven overs across two Tests against New Zealand recently, with the injury leading to “frustration” for Stokes, who has been unable to operate as a fourth quick in the recent past. Stokes received an injection to aid his knee before travelling to play for CSK in the 2023 IPL, but only made two appearances for the side, with a toe injury that he sustained during a nets session also keeping him away from the XI. He sent down only one over in the IPL, going for 18 runs.
Stokes, who became the first captain to win a Test without batting, bowling or wicketkeeping against Ireland at the start of the month, suffered another injury scare during the clash as he hobbled after taking a catch to send back Curtis Campher, heightening the question marks that remained on his fitness.
Stokes moved to quell any fears after the game: “I landed awkwardly when I took that catch and twisted in a strange way, but it was fine.”
A recent video of him bowling full tilt in a practice session ahead of the Ashes is a major boost to the side that will already be without Jofra Archer.
The first Ashes Test begins on June 16 at Edgbaston.
Watch Stokes bowling here:
Ben Stokes is bowling alert 😍😍😍
🎥 IG: Ben Stokes pic.twitter.com/TgUBcci8Jo
— England’s Barmy Army 🏴🎺 (@TheBarmyArmy)