Former England cricketer Mark Butcher believes that Ben Stokes will continue to be a valuable asset in both Tests and ODIs, even if he focuses solely on his batting.
Recent reports suggest that Stokes might reconsider his retirement decision due to the desire of coach Matthew Mott and captain Jos Buttler to include him in the ODI World Cup later this year. However, Stokes is grappling with a left knee injury that may require surgery.
Mark Butcher, speaking to Sky Sports, explained that there shouldn’t be any concerns about Ben Stokes assuming the role of a batter, as he has proven himself to be a decisive match-winner, Butcher remarked:
“At least, that appears to be his designated role, as it was during the recent Ashes.” He didn’t bowl very much. If that’s the path he’s taking, so be it. He still deserves to be on the team. His value to the squad extends beyond his role as captain to his ability as a batter.”
Mark Butcher feels that Ben Stokes will turn his attention to lead England in the five-match Test series against India scheduled for the upcoming January. This implies that Stokes must strategize his knee surgery to ensure fitness for both the World Cup and the Test series captaincy. This could complicate his participation in the World Cup.
“Given that the knee injury has been a persistent issue for over a year and will demand surgery at some time, only he can assess whether it is viable. Ben’s top aim is to lead England on their important India tour in January of next year. There are numerous uncertainties at play,” Butcher concluded.