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England to get major boost ahead of South Africa clash

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MUMBAI: England head coach Matthew Motts revealed that dynamic all-rounder Ben Stokes was “on target” to be available for their crucial ICC World Cup 2023 clash against South Africa.

Stokes, who came out of retirement ahead of the ICC World Cup 2023 has now missed his side’s all three opening fixtures due to a hip complaint.

The all-rounder witnessed his side succumbing to defeats against New Zealand and Afghanistan from the dugout.

Meanwhile, England head coach Matthew Motts gave an update regarding Stokes, stating they are “confident” that he would play against South Africa.

“We’ve obviously been relatively conservative with him, but the medical staff were always confident that South Africa was a game we could target,” Mott said.

“I haven’t had a report on him in the last 24 hours, but before that, he was on target.

“So fingers crossed, he can tick off all the things that need to be ticked off and he comes back into that side.

“He’s like the spiritual leader of the group in many ways, and he certainly spoke really well after the game the other day, and spoke about that need to really assert ourselves.”

Defending champions England had a dismal start to their title defence but Ben Stokes’ potential return could serve them well, who now need to win five out of their remaining six matches to make it to the semi-finals.

They take on South Africa at Wankhede Stadium on Saturday, who also sustained a severe hit to their ICC World Cup 2023 campaign as they were upset by the Netherlands on Tuesday.

But South Africa still remained in the third spot with four points in three matches while England are in fifth with two points in as many matches.

READ: Babar Azam continues to lead ICC ODI Batting Rankings

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