- Ben Stokes is likely to miss England’s next World Cup game, impacting team dynamics.
- England face a significant setback with a nine-wicket loss to New Zealand, highlighting early tournament challenges.
- Bangladesh’s strong start and pitch controversy add complexity to England’s upcoming match, intensifying the need for a swift turnaround.
Star England all-rounder Ben Stokes is facing a setback as he is likely to miss England’s second game in the 2023 World Cup against Bangladesh. Stokes, who missed the tournament opener against New Zealand due to a hip injury, underwent a gentle net session and light running in Dharamshala but experienced discomfort.
Ben Stokes, known for his dynamic all-round abilities, has been a crucial player for England in both batting and bowling. His absence not only impacts the team’s performance but also adds pressure on other players to step up and fill the void.
Stokes’ Absence Impact
England, the defending champions, suffered a resounding nine-wicket loss to New Zealand in their opening match. Ex-England captain Nasser Hussain highlighted the absence of Stokes, emphasizing that England missed his expertise to propel them above par. Hussain cautioned against further missteps, stating that England must improve to secure a spot in the top four.
“England missed the nous of Ben Stokes to get them above par, and they will just have to be better from now on. The one good thing is that perhaps they have got their bad performance out of the way early – if they did this in the semi-finals it would be all over.”
The loss to New Zealand exposed England’s vulnerabilities, with only Joe Root managing to score a half-century. Hussain pointed out that England needs to avoid any more slip-ups, considering the competitive nature of the tournament and the strength of other participating teams.
“There are a lot of good teams in this tournament and if England are to get into the top four they cannot afford any more slip-ups.”
On the other hand, Bangladesh began their campaign with a convincing victory over Afghanistan. The spinners played a pivotal role in bowling out Afghanistan for 156, and Bangladesh chased the target with six wickets to spare. Najmul Hossain Shanto’s unbeaten 59 was a standout performance for the Tigers.
With Afghanistan coach Jonathan Trott criticizing the Dharamshala pitch, it adds an interesting dimension to the upcoming match. Bangladesh could factor in the pitch conditions in their game plan against England.
As England prepares to face Bangladesh without Ben Stokes, the team must address its shortcomings from the previous match. Bangladesh, buoyed by their opening win, will aim to capitalize on England’s vulnerabilities.
The encounter promises to be a crucial one for both teams in their quest for a spot in the World Cup semi-finals.