...By Judah Olanisebee for TDPel Media.
Ben Stokes Facing Challenges with Bowling Ahead of Ashes, IPL Coach Reveals
IPL Stint as “Batting Cover” for Chennai Super Kings
Ben Stokes, the talented all-rounder, is facing hurdles in his bowling abilities just a month before the Ashes series commences, according to his IPL coach Stephen Fleming.
While Stokes has recovered from a toe injury, he has struggled to find his rhythm and has not played a game for the Chennai Super Kings since April 3.
Currently, he is being considered primarily for his batting skills as the franchise approaches the final stages of the tournament.
Overseas Player Limitations and Chennai Super Kings’ Selection
The IPL teams have restrictions on the number of overseas players they can include in their playing XIs, with a maximum of four allowed.
Chennai Super Kings have chosen to field Sri Lankan bowlers Matheesha Pathirana and Maheesh Theekshana, New Zealand batter Devon Conway, and Stokes’s England teammate Moeen Ali.
Despite Stokes being fit, he has been overlooked for selection due to the team’s preferred balance and the strong performance of other players, such as Moeen Ali.
Concerns for England’s Test Summer and Ashes Preparation
The upcoming Test summer for England includes a warm-up game against Ireland before the Ashes series opener against Australia.
Stokes had previously expressed his commitment to returning home in time for the Ireland Test.
However, his ongoing bowling challenges in the IPL raise concerns about his ability to play a full role as England’s fourth seamer in the Ashes series.
With his recent limited participation in Test matches and his knee problems, Stokes’s lack of IPL action may provide an opportunity for rest and recovery.
Importance of Stokes’s Bowling in England’s Plans
Stokes’s bowling is a crucial aspect of England’s strategy, especially considering his role as the fourth seamer.
In the recent Test match against New Zealand, he bowled only two overs due to a persistent knee issue.
The fact that his bowling challenges are persisting even during the IPL raises concerns about his readiness for the demanding Ashes series.
England will be monitoring his progress closely as they hope for his full participation in both batting and bowling capacities.
Ben Stokes’s struggles with bowling during his IPL stint are becoming a cause for concern ahead of the Ashes series.
While he has recovered from an injury, his bowling form has not been up to par, resulting in limited game time for the Chennai Super Kings.
England, hoping for Stokes’s full contribution as a key all-rounder, will closely assess his progress and consider the impact of his limited bowling practice.
The upcoming Test summer and Ashes series demand his presence in top form, making his rehabilitation and preparation a priority for the team.