Ben Stokes’s left knee has flared up again, allowing him to bowl just the two overs on the opening day of the Hamilton Test. There’s doubt over whether the all-rounder can bowl for the rest of the match although he was on the field for most of the day.
Stokes looked in discomfort after delivering the final ball of his second over. He held his knee and pulled up, after looking uncomfortable for the entire duration of his two-over spell.
“Ben has some pain in his left knee and will be assessed on whether he can bowl during the rest of this innings,” England said in a statement. “He felt some discomfort at the end of his second over earlier today.”
This is not the first time Stokes’s left knee is giving him trouble. He had a cartilage tear and a surgery on it in May 2016. His name being taken off the bowling roster in Hamilton though doesn’t stand to affect England to a great extent, with the visitors going in with a five-prong pace pack that also includes Stuart Broad, Sam Curran, Chris Woakes and Jofra Archer.
“We want Ben Stokes at full tilt if we can, because at his best he’s world-class,” said Chris Woakes. “There’s a bit of a gap between the end of this Test match and the start of the South Africa series, so hopefully the medical team can get him as close to 100 per cent as possible.”
England have said Stokes will continue to be assessed during New Zealand’s first innings.