England must avoid regarding Ben Stokes as a “messiah” or a “Superman” if the champions are to get their World Cup 2023 campaign back on track, according to teammate Mark Wood.
England’s title defence got off to a woeful start when they suffered a nine-wicket defeat by New Zealand in Thursday’s opening match of the tournament – a game Stokes missed with a hip injury.
England’s test captain Ben Stokes is known for his ability across all three main formats to rescue England from difficult positions, notably during the team’s dramatic World Cup final win over New Zealand at Lord’s.
But fast bowler Mark Wood said other members of the team had to “stand up”.
“I don’t want to put too much pressure on him,” Wood told the BBC. “He’s not Superman. It’s not all just about the messiah Stokesy coming back and him doing everything.
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“He’s obviously one of our best players, if not our best player, but all the lads have to stand up as well.”
Ben Stokes is only in India as a batsman rather than his usual all-rounder role because of a longstanding knee problem.
Wood was one of several England bowlers to suffer as New Zealand comfortably chased down a target of 283 inside 37 overs on Thursday, with Devon Conway and Rachin Ravindra both compiling impressive unbeaten hundreds.
“New Zealand played really well,” said express quick Wood, whose five overs cost 55 runs. “We were a bit off and they played really well. It’s as simple as that.”
But England, who next play Bangladesh on Tuesday, lost three group games in 2019 before winning the title.
“A great trait of the group is that sort of resilience and bouncing back and calmness,” said Wood. “I trust every member in there, they’ve been through bad times and good times.
“We know that we can do it.”