Chennai Super Kings are facing Punjab Kings for their 9th game of the ongoing 2023 edition of the Indian Premier League. The game is being played at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai, the home turf of the Chennai Super Kings. Chennai Super Kings have been performing brilliantly in the IPL 2023 campaign, currently sitting in fourth position on the points table with five victories from eight matches.
The toss was won by the CSK skipper, MS Dhoni, who opted to bat first on their home ground. However, when the team sheets were released, Ben Stokes was not included in the CSK playing XI. This is a significant setback for the team, as Stokes was expected to be an impactful player for CSK this season but has only been able to participate in a couple of games.
Why is Ben Stokes not playing today against Punjab Kings?
The Chennai Super Kings (CSK) will once again be without their key overseas all-rounder, Ben Stokes, in their upcoming match against the Punjab Kings (PBKS) in Match 41 of the Indian Premier League 2023. MS Dhoni, at the time of the toss, announced that CSK will field the same team that played the last game for them.
“We will bat first. Looks like a decent wicket. When you play a day game, the heat is a factor. The fast bowlers can get some rest. In the day game, few players are too early. It is important to be intelligent. Not to be exposed a lot under the sun. IPL is a longish tournament. There will be games which won’t go your way. You have to accept the learnings. It is the same team.”, said Dhoni after winning the toss.
Stokes, the current captain of the England Test team, suffered a knee injury just before the game against the Mumbai Indians and has not played since then, missing crucial matches against Mumbai Indians, Rajasthan Royals, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Sunrisers Hyderabad, and Kolkata Knight Riders.
In a recent statement after CSK’s victory against Sunrisers Hyderabad, CSK head coach Stephen Fleming mentioned that Stokes will need more time to attain complete fitness before making a comeback for the remainder of the IPL 2023 season. Therefore, it appears that Stokes has been left out of the playing XI for the same reason.
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