He was described as “close” to featuring in Sunday’s defeat to Afghanistan in Delhi by England’s captain, Jos Buttler, and now looks set to return to the side this weekend, providing he gets through training sessions as planned on Thursday evening and Friday afternoon.
“[It was] a frustrating little niggle to get before the tournament starts,” Stokes told BBC on Thursday. “But I have worked very hard to get back to where I am and making myself ready to be available for selection.”
He confirmed that he is planning to play on Saturday. “We have had a few days off since the last game and the first training session here in Mumbai. [I will] give it a good push but, yes, I think everything is pretty good. I am in a good place.”
Stokes admitted he had found it “frustrating” running the drinks across England’s first three games and he will return to the side with their semi-final hopes in jeopardy following defeats to New Zealand and Afghanistan. He said that England had to draw a line under those losses.
“We are only three games into a tournament,” Stokes said. “There is still a long way to go. It [the loss to Afghanistan] was disappointing in the moment, but at the end of the day, we have lost a game of cricket in a World Cup. Everyone is going to lose games and it’s one of those things we had to deal with quickly, understand that we didn’t perform well but move on, and understand we have a lot more cricket left to play.”
England had two full days off after arriving in Mumbai and most players have been joined by their partners and children. “It has been a good chance to rest and get fired up and ready for the game against South Africa,” Stokes said. “The families have arrived now which has been really good for some people. We have been out here three or four weeks, so it’s been a good chance to recharge our batteries.
“We would love to get our second win here. South Africa have been performing really well so far and are a good team. It is exciting as well being at the Wankhede, the first game there [of the World Cup]. It is generally a nice place to bat in particular. Hopefully, it can be one of those games for us where we go out and click.”