Before the highly-anticipated IPL 2023, the batting coach for the Chennai Super Kings (CSK), Michael Hussey, said that Ben Stokes, an overseas recruit for CSK, will play as a specialist batter at the start of this year’s IPL. The left knee of England’s Test Captain is hurt, which is why he might not bowl in the first few games for CSK. Stokes and fellow countryman Moeen Ali joined the CSK camp last week and have already started training with the team. On Friday night, they will play their first game of the season against the defending champion Gujarat Titans in Ahmedabad. Even though he hurt his knee, he decided to practice at full speed.
ESPNcricinfo says that the latest scan of the knee shows no signs of danger. Stokes has gotten a cortisone injection, which is an anti-inflammatory injection, to reduce swelling as a precaution. This will help him get his hurt knee stronger. Michael Hussey, who is CSK’s batting coach, said that Stokes might not be able to bowl in the first few games of the tournament. The former CSK opener still thinks Stokes will bowl at some point in the tournament.
Stokes to Start the IPL 2023 as a Pure Batter
My understanding is he’s ready to go as a batsman from the start. The bowling might be wait and see. I know he had his first very light bowl yesterday [Sunday] since he had his injections in his knee. The physios from Chennai and the ECB are working pretty closely together. My understanding is he won’t be bowling much at all in the first few games of the tournament… it might be a few weeks. I’m not 100% sure, [but we will] hopefully get him bowling at some stage in the tournament,” Michael Hussey was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.
Stokes has only scored 920 runs in 43 IPL games, which is a low average of 25.56. He has also taken 28 wickets with the bat. The Englishman is one of the best all-around players in the world right now, which is why CSK paid a record amount of INR 16.25 crore for him.
At the auction, Stokes was the most expensive player for Chennai. He could fit into the team as a batter because he has been good and consistent over the last 12 to 18 months. Because CSK has a balanced team, Stokes will be able to play even if he doesn’t bowl. The big question is where CSK will put him in the batting order.