England all-rounder Ben Stokes mentioned he knew throughout the Ashes sequence that he was going to reverse his determination to retire from one-day cricket in time for subsequent month’s World Cup, and that he had dominated out a comeback to throw the media off the scent.
The talismanic 32-year-old, the architect of England’s maiden 50-overs World Cup triumph in 2019, introduced his shock ODI retirement final 12 months citing his heavy workload.
As hypothesis that he would possibly return to the format for England’s title defence swirled throughout the Ashes in June and July, Stokes quashed discuss of a doable return to the ODI squad, citing a nagging knee damage.
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However, he returned to the England set-up final month forward of their World Cup title defence in India, and gave one other instance of his explosive batting within the third ODI in opposition to New Zealand on Wednesday, smashing 182 off 124 balls.
“Obviously I’ve been asked a lot about my knee over a long period of time, so I just said that to leave it,” Stokes mentioned of his earlier feedback about the potential of an ODI return.
“I knew that I’d be playing in these games and potentially in the World Cup then when I said that, but it was just the easiest thing to say that and put you (the media) off the radar.”
England have agreed to play him as a specialist batter, ideally at quantity 4, and he mentioned the readability about his position helped him bat with extra freedom.
“This is the first time that I’ve been clear in my mind that that’s the one thing I can focus on,” Stokes mentioned.
“I think over the last 18 months, every day has been, ‘will I bowl, will I not bowl?’ Now, I know that I can just focus on that … Having that clarity in my head contributes to that.”
England tackle New Zealand within the remaining ODI at Lord’s on Friday. They lead the four-match sequence 2-1.