IPL 2023: CSK debutant Ben Stokes to start Season 16 as a specialist batter due to knee injury

IPL 2023: CSK debutant Ben Stokes to start Season 16 as a specialist batter due to knee injury

Chennai Super Kings' batting coach Michael Hussey confirmed that Ben Stokes won't be bowling in the initial stages of IPL 2023.

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Tuesday, March 28, 2023, 09:02 PM IST
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Ben Stokes has been hitting the ball really well in the nets at Chepauk | Ben Stokes Instagram

Chennai Super Kings' latest big signing, Ben Stokes will start the 16th season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) as a specialist batter due to his knee issue.

Stokes, who was bought by the four-time champions for a whopping sum of 16.25 crore at the IPL auction in December last year, has been struggling with left knee injury for quite some time now.

He has managed recurring injuries in his left knee over a number of years, but suffered a flare-up on England's tour to New Zealand last month, bowling only nine overs across two Tests and batting through clear physical discomfort on the final day of the series in Wellington.

Chennai Super Kings' batting coach Michael Hussey confirmed that Stokes won't be bowling in the initial stages of IPL 2023.

"He (Stokes) is ready to go as a batsman from the start, the bowling might be wait and see. I know he had his first very light bowl this week since he had his injections in his knee.

"My understanding is he won't be bowling much at all in the first few games of the tournament, or it might be a few weeks, I'm not 100 percent sure. But hopefully we'll get him bowling at some stage in the tournament," Hussey said.

Stokes 'hitting the ball really well'

The England captain arrived in Chennai last week and has been training hard with his new team.

Hussey said Stokes had been "hitting the ball really well" since arriving in India, predicting that he would be "huge" to the franchise's bid to reach the playoffs, "particularly if we can get him bowling… having those allrounders is really important".

The IPL 2023 will kickstart with defending champions Gujarat Titans taking on MS Dhoni's CSK at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on March 31.

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