As per reports, Ben Stokes is likely to miss the first game of the 2023 ODI World Cup due to a minor hip injury. Stokes was supposed to be the fulcrum of the middle-order at No.4. However, with him missing out against New Zealand in Ahmedabad, England may have to field a different combination. On that note, here, we take a look at two players who could play if Ben Stokes misses the first game of the ODI World Cup 2023.
1) Harry Brook
A few weeks ago, Harry Brook was not even in the picture when it came to the 2023 ODI WC. However, he is now in the squad and might also make his World Cup debut.
With Ben Stokes missing out, England might not tinker a lot with the balance and the combination. Yes, the team might miss out on a left-hander in the middle-order but they can solve it by promoting someone like Moeen Ali. Hence, Harry Brook is likely to play at No.4 or No.5. It will be a challenge for him because he has not been a great player of spin.
2) David Willey
David Willey is one of the players who could play if Ben Stokes misses the first game of the ODI World Cup 2023. England can add an extra pacer to the team and they can afford it because they had Sam Curran batting at No.8.
Willey is one of the improved batters against spin in recent years. Hence, he might be an interesting choice in the middle-order. Of course, his primary duty is with the ball and he can do that with the new ball. Someone like Gus Atkinson could be an aggressive option in Ahmedabad. Therefore, the all-rounder is also a part of the list. However, it needs to be seen if England will take this risk in the first game itself.