Former England captain Nasser Hussain has urged Ben Stokes, the current England captain, to be honest with his team about his knee injury ahead of the Ashes series against Australia. In a column for the Daily Mail, Hussain emphasized the importance of Stokes communicating if he cannot bowl in a Test, as it would require a change in the team’s balance. The Ashes series is set to begin after the World Test Championship Final.
Stokes, who hadn’t played cricket since January 2023, participated in only three matches of the Indian Premier League 2023, focusing on strengthening his knee. He mentioned the effort it took to bowl without pain. Although he looked good in training before the match, Stokes didn’t bat or bowl against Ireland in the recent one-off Test.
Hussain felt Stokes would perform well in the upcoming match at Edgbaston, as he appeared pain-free and in good form during training. Stokes’s fitness work during the IPL seemed to have benefited him.
However, Hussain highlighted the issue Stokes faces while moving sideways on the field, which was evident during the Ireland game. Diving and subsequent movement caused discomfort in his knee. This was particularly noticeable when he caught Curtis Campher.
In summary, Nasser Hussain stressed the importance of Ben Stokes being honest with his team about his knee injury before the Ashes series. Stokes’s role as both a batsman and bowler is vital for England, and if he cannot bowl, it would require making adjustments in the team.