“Ben Stokes’ ODI Return in Doubt: Harry Brook’s World Cup Dream Takes Center Stage
In a dramatic twist, Ben Stokes, who made a surprising comeback to the one-day squad after briefly retiring, faces uncertainty over his participation in the upcoming ODI World Cup opener. This highly anticipated clash against New Zealand is reminiscent of the 2019 final showdown.
The stars appear to align for Harry Brook, the 24-year-old cricket prodigy, as he gears up for a potential tournament debut. He could step in for Stokes, who is nursing a minor hip injury. The stage is set for Thursday’s showdown in Ahmedabad.
England’s decision to include Brook came at the cost of opener Jason Roy, a clear indication of their belief in Brook’s explosive batting prowess.
While Stokes hasn’t been officially ruled out of the rematch, England’s skipper, Jos Buttler, shed light on the situation. “He’s dealing with a minor hip issue, and we’re keeping our fingers crossed for positive news,” Buttler shared with reporters at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Wednesday. Stokes is diligently working with the physios, and further updates will emerge after the training session later today.
Stokes, primarily included as a batter in the one-day setup due to his persistent knee issues, recently showcased his remarkable ability with a record-breaking 182 against New Zealand, proving his worth in a reduced role. However, England is exercising caution, hesitant to rush him back into action so early in this six-week-long tournament.
“We’ll make the right call here – if he’s not fit to play, he’s not fit to play,” Buttler emphasized. “This is not the time to take significant risks at the beginning of the tournament.”
As fate would have it, Harry Brook, an integral part of England’s test and T20 World Cup-winning teams, is poised to capitalize on this situation. Buttler praised Brook, saying, “Harry, we all know, is a fantastic player. His international career has had a stellar start in T20 and the test format. While he hasn’t played much ODI cricket, it’s a format that suits him perfectly. He can build long innings and score big runs, something he truly enjoys doing. With his array of shots, he has the potential to shine in this format, just as he has in test cricket.” The stage is set for Brook to make his mark on the ODI stage.”