Brendon McCullum adds mystery to Ben Stokes’ bowling fitness

Brendon McCullum adds mystery to Ben Stokes’ bowling fitness. Stokes has not bowled in professional cricket since June 2023.

England captain Ben Stokes has previously stated that he will not bowl until the summer and will focus on getting back in form. However, the all-rounder was spotted bowling in the nets during the second and third Tests against India in Visakhapatnam and Rajkot, respectively. This has called his fitness into question, raising concerns about whether the 32-year-old will bowl in the last two Test matches in Ranchi and Dharamshala.

Speaking about the new scenario, head coach Brendon McCullum backed Stokes, stating that the all-rounder would ultimately do the right thing. He stated that the skipper is now bowling in the nets but may experience difficulties if he bowls in extended durations during matches. The former New Zealand cricketer noted that it is a positive sign for the squad, but did not say whether Stokes would bowl in the ongoing series against India.

“It’s good that he’s reaching to the point where he believes he can bowl. But Ben is quite clever. He won’t bowl unless he believes he can really bowl. The trouble would be if he started a spell and then couldn’t get out of it. So, we’ll see what happens. If he gets that bit in his teeth, we’ll see where the danger is and try to get him away from it. Cricbuzz quoted McCullum as adding, “But it’s a good sign.”

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Things are feeling really good: Stokes

Stokes shared an update on his bowling fitness, saying that he is ‘feeling pretty well’. He held his cards close to his breast and didn’t say anything about his desire to bowl in the remaining bouts. The Christchurch-born cricketer stated that he is positive about the situation, but a final decision would be made after speaking with the medical staff.

“I tend to jump the gun a little, but things are going pretty well. “I’m not saying yes or no.”

“Being me, I am always optimistic about most things. That will be a more in-depth discussion with the medical staff about what workload I have done to pass myself off as not being a significant risk. I was able to bowl at 100% on one of the warm-up days here, which made me feel quite fantastic. “I felt like I could have bowled during the game, but it would have been stupid,” Stokes added.

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