Chennai Super Kings (CSK) bolstered their squad at the Indian Premier League 2023 Mini Auction as they roped in England Test captain Ben Stokes for a whopping 16.25 Crores. Bringing in Stokes meant CSK have another world-class all-rounder. However, it seems Stokes won’t be playing as an all-rounder in the first few matches of IPL 2023.
As per reports, Stokes will play as a specialist batter in the first few matches of IPL 2023 as he has not yet fully recovered from his knee injury. Stokes has been managing recurring injuries in his left knee over a number of years but suffered a flare-up on England's tour to New Zealand last month, bowling only nine overs across two Tests and batting through clear physical discomfort on the final day of the series in Wellington.
Although the scans have come out as clear and Stokes has been cleared to play in a high-intensity tournament like the IPL, he has taken a cortisone injection - a common anti-inflammatory injection which reduces swelling - ahead of the IPL.
"My understanding is he's ready to go as a batsman from the start," Mike Hussey, Super Kings' batting coach, was quoted saying by ESPNcricinfo. "The bowling might be wait and see. I know he had his first very light bowl yesterday [Sunday] since he had his injections in his knee.
"The physios from Chennai and the ECB are working pretty closely together. My understanding is he won't be bowling much at all in the first few games of the tournament… it might be a few weeks. I'm not 100% sure, [but we will] hopefully get him bowling at some stage in the tournament."
Notably, CSK will open their campaign at IPL 2023 against defending champions Gujarat Titans on 31 March.