England skipper Jos Buttler gave his take on whether all-rounder Ben Stokes will be in contention for their upcoming World Cup game against South Africa. Stokes reversed his retirement to have another dance in the 50-over format, hoping to contribute to England’s title defence. But since arriving in India, Stokes is yet to play a single match as he picked up a slight niggle in his hip during a practice session before their campaign opener against New Zealand. Stokes who is itching to return to the field declared himself available for the clash against the Proteas on Thursday.
After the Three Lions suffered a shocking defeat to Afghanistan in their previous fixture, Buttler would be looking to evaluate each and every option that is available to him.
“Yeah, I think I’ve got so many options within the squad selection it is always tough and you’re working out the right balance, always venue dependent as well so been a good chance to see the wicket here today and gather a bit more information as well. But obviously Ben trained really well last night. It’s great to see him back. He obviously brings a lot on the field and with his presence and leadership skills as well as someone who is always good to turn to. So, he adds a lot of value,” Buttler said in the pre-match press conference.
Buttler also talked about their opponents, South Africa, who are playing a good brand of cricket in this World Cup. South Africa declared themselves as a force to be reckoned with following their 134-run triumph over Australia.
Buttler talked about the threat that the Proteas carry and said, “Yeah, I think they’ve been they’ve been playing some really good cricket I think obviously the top six is a very strong top six and I think pace with the ball is one of their strengths. It’s something I think both teams like as well. We have pace in both attacks and both teams like pace on the ball so as well it should be a really fascinating contest. They’re a really good team. You always expect tough challenge when you play against South Africa and it’s going to be a brilliant game.”
South Africa will face England on Friday at the Ekana Sports City, Lucknow.
England squad: Jos Buttler (c), Moeen Ali, Gus Atkinson, Jonny Bairstow, Sam Curran, Liam Livingstone, Dawid Malan, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Harry Brook, Ben Stokes, Reece Topley, David Willey, Mark Wood, Chris Woakes.
South Africa squad: Temba Bavuma (c), Gerald Coetzee, Quinton de Kock, Reeza Hendricks, Marco Jansen, Heinrich Klaasen, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Lungi Ngidi, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Rassie van der Dussen, Lizaad Williams.
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