England all-rounder Ben Stokes is set to begin his Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 campaign as a specialist batter for the Chennai Super Kings (CSK). Stokes has been a regular for the Rajasthan Royals (RR) in the IPL since 2018, but was ruled out of the 2022 season due to injury.
According to reports, CSK coach Stephen Fleming has identified Stokes as a top-order batsman for the team, in order to strengthen their batting lineup. Speaking to the media, Fleming said, “We have been following Ben Stokes’ career for a long time and we believe he has the ability to play as a specialist batter. He has a lot of experience in T20 cricket and we think he will be a valuable addition to our team.”
Stokes has been a prolific all-rounder in international cricket, but his IPL record as a batsman has been somewhat mixed. In 41 IPL innings, he has scored 920 runs at an average of 23.59 and a strike rate of 132.90. However, Fleming believes that Stokes has the potential to do much better as a specialist batter.
CSK will be hoping that Stokes can replicate his form from the 2017 season, when he was named the IPL’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) for his all-round performances for the Rising Pune Supergiant. Stokes scored 316 runs and took 12 wickets in 12 matches that season.
The IPL 2023 is set to begin in April, with CSK scheduled to play their first match on April 9 against the Mumbai Indians.
Going Ballistic! ????⚔️#WhistlePodu #Yellove ???????? @imjadeja @benstokes38 pic.twitter.com/IZ0QjqNPXd
— Chennai Super Kings (@ChennaiIPL) March 26, 2023