The much-anticipated Cricket World Cup 2023 has brought with it a flurry of excitement and speculations, especially when it comes to the participation of England’s star all-rounder, Ben Stokes. England skipper Jos Buttler has offered insights into whether Stokes will be in contention for their upcoming World Cup game against South Africa.
The Ben Stokes Comeback Saga
Stokes, known for his extraordinary cricketing skills, reversed his retirement plans to have another dance in the 50-over format, aiming to make a significant contribution to England’s title defense. However, since arriving in India, Stokes has been sidelined due to a slight hip injury sustained during a practice session before their campaign opener against New Zealand. Now, with a desire to return to the field, he has declared himself available for the clash against the Proteas on Thursday.
After a surprising defeat to Afghanistan in their previous fixture, Buttler and the England squad find themselves in need of a revival. The skipper is carefully evaluating all the options available to him.
“Yeah, I think I’ve got so many options within the squad selection, and it’s always tough. You’re working out the right balance, which can be venue-dependent as well. So, it’s been a good chance to see the wicket here today and gather more information. Ben trained really well last night, and it’s great to see him back. He brings a lot to the field with his presence, leadership skills, and on-field prowess. So, he adds a lot of value,” Buttler remarked during a pre-match press conference.
Buttler also acknowledged the threat posed by their upcoming opponents, South Africa, who have been displaying a strong brand of cricket in this World Cup. Their impressive 134-run triumph over Australia made a powerful statement.
“Yeah, I think they’ve been playing some really good cricket. The top six is very strong, and their pace with the ball is one of their strengths. It’s something both teams appreciate. We have pace in both attacks, and both teams like pace on the ball, so it should be a fascinating contest. They’re a really good team. You always expect a tough challenge when you play against South Africa, and it’s going to be a brilliant game,” Buttler assessed.
The Upcoming Clash
South Africa will face England on Friday at the Ekana Sports City, Lucknow. The clash promises to be a thrilling encounter, and cricket fans worldwide are eagerly awaiting the outcome.
England squad: Jos Buttler (c), Moeen Ali, Gus Atkinson, Jonny Bairstow, Sam Curran, Liam Livingstone, Dawid Malan, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Harry Brook, Ben Stokes, Reece Topley, David Willey, Mark Wood, Chris Woakes.
South Africa squad: Temba Bavuma (c), Gerald Coetzee, Quinton de Kock, Reeza Hendricks, Marco Jansen, Heinrich Klaasen, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Lungi Ngidi, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Rassie van der Dussen, Lizaad Williams.
England vs South Africa Probable XIs
The playing XIs for the match are of particular interest. Both teams are eager to get back to winning ways in this tournament. Let’s take a look at the likely lineups:
England XI: Jonny Bairstow, Dawid Malan, Joe Root, Harry Brook, Jos Buttler (c and wk), Liam Livingstone/Ben Stokes, Sam Curran, Chris Woakes, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood, Reece Topley.
South Africa Probable XI: Temba Bavuma (c), Quinton de Kock (wk), Rassie van der Dussen, Aiden Markram, Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller, Marco Jansen, Gerald Coetzee, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi.
In ODIs, England and South Africa have faced each other a total of 69 times. England has claimed victory 30 times, while South Africa has won on 33 occasions. In their recent five ODI meetings, both teams have each secured two wins, making this encounter even more intriguing.
As the cricketing world eagerly awaits the clash between England and South Africa, the return of Ben Stokes adds a new dimension to England’s strategy. The Proteas, on the other hand, are determined to continue their impressive run in this World Cup. With the promise of exciting cricket ahead, all eyes are on the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
- Will Ben Stokes return make a significant impact on England’s performance?
- While it’s hard to predict, Ben Stokes’ return is expected to boost England’s chances.
- How have England and South Africa performed in recent World Cup matches?
- Both teams have had their ups and downs, making this match an exciting contest.
- Who are the key players to watch in this game?
- Ben Stokes and South Africa’s top-order batsmen are certainly players to keep an eye on.
- What’s the significance of this match in the context of the World Cup 2023?
- This match could determine the trajectory of both teams in the tournament.
- Where can I watch the England vs. South Africa World Cup match?
- You can catch all the action on your local sports channels or streaming platforms.