Stephen Fleming provides an update on Ben Stokes’ fitness ahead of the 2023 Ashes: “His bowling ability remains a concern.”

Ben Stokes, a star all-rounder for England, is still not 100 percent prior to the 2023 Ashes. Since April 3, Stokes has not played for the Chennai Super Kings in the ongoing IPL 2023 due to a toe injury. The 31-year-old has been available for selection for the past week, but all four places for overseas players have been filled in the CSK playing XI.

Following CSK’s loss to Kolkata Knight Riders on Sunday, May 14 in Chennai, head coach Stephen Fleming disclosed that the all-rounder is currently struggling to bowl but is available as a batsman.

Ben’s ability to bowl overs is still a bit of a challenge at the present, but he serves as a batting cover. Fleming was cited as saying to ESPNcricinfo, “With Moeen bowling well in good conditions – we go to Delhi [next], which has been turning – we believe the balance of the side has been correct.”

Fleming added that since CSK is second in the IPL standings with seven wins out of thirteen games, the management is unwilling to alter the team’s lineup despite their defeat in the previous match.

“And look, we’re in second place in the standings, so it’s not our approach to make drastic changes just because we suffered a loss in which things didn’t go our way. We will not do so. We may tinker with it, but our main objective is to assemble the best roster for Delhi,” he added.

Stokes will depart the CSK camp following their final league match against DC.
Stokes played in only the first two games for CSK this season. According to a report by ESPNcricinfo, the England Test captain will return to the United Kingdom after the CSK’s final group game against Delhi on Saturday, May 20 in order to prepare for the sole Test against Ireland, which will be contested at Lord’s beginning on June 1.

The game is regarded as preparation for the Ashes, for which Stokes has indicated he will serve as the fourth seamer in the crucial series beginning on June 16 at Edgbaston. However, there are ominous clouds surrounding his bowling fitness before the upcoming series.


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