England’s head coach, Brendon McCullum, is optimistic about captain Ben Stokes’ participation in the upcoming first Test against India in Hyderabad. Stokes had surgery on his troublesome knee, causing him to miss matches during the 2023 World Cup. McCullum noted that the all-rounder appeared to be in good shape during training and ready to take the field. Stokes faced a demanding rehabilitation schedule to ensure his readiness for the opening Test. McCullum indicated that they would continue to monitor the captain’s progress before making a final decision.
“He looks like a greyhound. He’s put the work in, everyone knows his work ethic is phenomenal. I’ve seen him running around and I think he’s good to go. We’ll obviously make that call as late as what we need to. But he’s put all the work in, and we’ll just have to wait and see,” he said.
McCullum also expressed the team’s support for Harry Brooks’ withdrawal to be with his family during a challenging period, with indications that he might make a comeback later in the series. England has only managed to win one Test match in India during their last two tours.