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Men’s ODI World Cup: Stokes hints return to the England squad after “frustrating niggle” injury

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England star all-rounder Ben Stokes has declared himself fit for the selection for the match against South Africa on Saturday, after missing the first three games due to a hip injury.

The 32-year-old is set to return to the England squad on Saturday’s match against Proteas.

Speaking to BBC Radio’s Test Match Special, Stokes said: “It was a frustrating little niggle to get before the tournament but I have worked very hard to get back to where I am and making myself ready to be available for selection.

“We have had a few days off since the last game and first training session here in Mumbai. I’ll give it a good push but, yes, I think everything is pretty good. I am in a good place, he added.

Ahead of the announcement of the England World Cup squad, Stokes came out of ODI retirement and made himself available for the selection. Having played 182 runs inning – England’s highest individual ODI score – against New Zealand at The Oval on September 13, Stokes hasn’t featured in any match and focussed more on training.

Stokes also admitted that he found it “frustrating” running the drinks across England’s first three games and he will return to the side following defeats to New Zealand and Afghanistan.

He said that England had to draw a line under those losses.

We are only three games into a tournament. There is still a long way to go. It [the loss to Afghanistan] was disappointing in the moment, but at the end of the day, we have lost a game of cricket in a World Cup. Everyone is going to lose games and it’s one of those things we had to deal with quickly, understand that we didn’t perform well but move on, and understand we have a lot more cricket left to play.”

Before the match day, England has two full days for the training session and since Stokes has announced his arrival, the focus will be on him eyeing his role and importance in the squad.

Stokes finds himself confident playing against Proteas at the Wankhede which he founds favouring the batters.

“We would love to get our second win here. South Africa have been performing really well so far and are a good team. It is exciting as well being at the Wankhede, the first game there [of the World Cup]. It is generally a nice place to bat in particular. Hopefully, it can be one of those games for us where we go out and click.”


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