Ben Stokes’ decision to retire from ODI cricket leaves an opportunity in the team for an all-rounder to shine.
It will be big shoes to fill, as Stokes not only played an integral role in helping England win their first World Cup in 2019, but he has also consistently been one of their best players over the last years.
Here is a look at three men who may benefit from Stokes concentrating on Test and T20 cricket.
Craig Overton was a key member of the England team which played the three-match series with India this summer. In the final game of that series, Overton hit 32 runs at a 96.97 strike rate. He also took the wicket of Suryakumar Yadav at Old Trafford.
The regular Test bowler will be pushing for a place in the England T20 World Cup squad later this year. As the 3/1 joint-favourites in the cricket betting, it would be a real chance to win a major trophy with his country.
England have had a lot of success in T20 cricket over the last few years, so they will be one of the leading cricket tips for the tournament. If Overton can play his part in helping the team pick up wickets and score runs, he could become a regular all-rounder in both white-ball teams.
Lancashire Liam Livingstone only just made his debut in ODI cricket in 2021, but he already feels like a regular in Jos Buttler’s team. Like Stokes, Livingstone is capable of fireworks with the bat. He hits the ball a long way and can score runs very fast.
The 28-year-old was a big hit in the IPL earlier this year. The experience he has gained in that league is going to be invaluable, especially when England travel to the sub-continent, in conditions which will be against them.
With Stokes now retired, Livingstone is likely to feel more responsibility will be on him to help England bat out their 50 overs. Once he improves his shot selection, we may start seeing the talented all-rounder be an important member of the ODI team.
In 2021, Lewis Gregory made his debut for England in ODI cricket, playing three matches in Pakistan. He did not fare badly, as he averaged 58.50 in the series, with his highest score being 77. His best bowling figures were 3/44.
Gregory has not featured for England since that tour of Pakistan, however, he is sure to be on the selectors’ minds going forward. The 30-year-old plays his domestic cricket for Somerset, but he has also appeared in leagues in Australia, India and Pakistan.
The right-arm bowler will be hoping to end the county season strongly in 2022. He will also be part of the Hundred for the Trent Rockets this year.
After the series against South Africa is complete, England are not in ODI action until November. They take on their oldest rivals in three matches in the penultimate month of the year.