How will England fill the gap that Ben Stokes left behind in ODI?

Who will replace Ben Stokes
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The tiniest of glimpses into England’s potential strategy was offered on Friday when Phil Salt was tasked with filling his position and the Lancashire big-hitter was promoted up to number three in the order. However, that might have been due to the fact that it was a rain-shortened 29-over-a-side match.

Will England maintain this strategy for the Sunday ODI decider at Headingley, which will be shown live on Sky Sports Cricket from 11 am? Brydon Carse’s toe injury further depletes England’s bowling resources, making it probable that the hosts will once again bolster the batting.

Before the game began at a soggy Emirates Old Trafford, Sky Sports’ Mark Butcher questioned, “Is there a greater role for Sam Curran?” and Curran went on to impress with the bat, hitting 35 off 18 balls to get England out of danger in their innings.

Curran is now set to bat at No. 8 in the England order, but perhaps it’s time for a promotion to give him more responsibility, similar to how Stokes was given more duty as the real all-rounder to balance the squad.

Shaun Pollock, a former all-rounder for South Africa, expressed this opinion during England’s 118-run victory over South Africa on Friday, for which Curran was awarded Player of the Match.

I’m not sure whether England will ever be in a position where you truly have to make a decision, he added. It would have needed someone to support Ben Stokes and tell him, “You’re better than number eight.

Is there not a point when you tell him, “We’re backing you at six,” Let’s see whether that serves as a launchpad for him.

Eoin Morgan, a former England captain, concurred and said, “I think he has so lot to give with the bat.

He has prior experience; at Surrey, he has virtually always batted from position three to position eight.

“He also doesn’t throw away balls. He won’t obstruct you from playing aggressively or scoring heavily.

“He finally makes sense as a choice. He is quite talented.”

Even Curran himself stated following the contest, “I like to try to approach every at-bat with the attitude of a hitter.

“I had a lot of time to think after recovering from the injury, and it was a part of my game I wanted to be a little more consistent in,” the player said.

But Curran isn’t England’s only soldier vying for a promotion; Butcher described Moeen Ali, who batted at five on Friday instead of the usual seven, as a “ready-made substitute” for Stokes.

In the IPL, Curran and Moeen have both benefited from having this additional duty since it has allowed them to bat higher in the order.

Curran has batted in the top six for 16 of his 23 IPL innings for a mixture of the Punjab Kings and Chennai Super Kings, including starting the batting four times.

Moeen batted in the top three for more than half of his 42 innings while playing for Royal Challengers Bangalore and, most recently, the Super Kings.

The sudden retirements of Morgan and Stokes would provide England some useful left-handed alternatives up the order and the opportunity to include an additional spinner in their starting XI.

David Willey might profit from a modest move up the lineup, while Chris Woakes would be a strong contender for No. 7.

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