Ben Stokes Unlikely to Bowl in India Tests


England’s red-ball captain, Ben Stokes, is unlikely to bowl during the upcoming five-match Test series against India. The England National Cricket Team is scheduled to tour India next month for the Test series, starting on January 25. The venues for the series include Hyderabad, Vizag, Rajkot, Ranchi, and Dharamsala.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced a 16-player squad for the Test series, led by Ben Stokes. Notable inclusions in the squad are wicketkeeper-batter Ben Foakes, along with the comeback of Jack Leach and Ollie Pope, who have recovered from their respective injuries. Three uncapped players, Shoaib Bashir, Tom Hartley, and Gus Atkinson, are also part of the squad.

Addressing Ben Stokes’ role as a bowler in the Test series, England’s director of cricket, Rob Key, stated, “We never had him down to be bowling in India.” Stokes recently underwent knee surgery and is currently in the rehabilitation phase.

Rob Key further explained the selection of 20-year-old spinner Shoaib Bashir, emphasizing the focus on playing style and the potential upside rather than relying solely on statistical data. The spinner’s high release point contributed to his selection.

The Test series in India poses a significant challenge, and England aims to create an environment, led by Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum, where players can thrive.

England Test squad:

Rehan Ahmed, James Anderson, Gus Atkinson, Jonny Bairstow, Shoaib Bashir, Harry Brook, Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ben Foakes, Tom Hartley, Jack Leach, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Joe Root, Ben Stokes (captain), Mark Wood

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