Ben Stokes the England all-rounder who recently returned to the game after legal issues have unfortunately been hampered by a back injury that he sustained during the ODI series that just concluded on the tour of New Zealand. Owing to this he couldn't bowl at all in the first test in Wellington and bowled from a short run-up for six overs only in Christchurch. With the bat too, Ben has not looked in percent comfort.
Ben expressed how "it has been [a] frustrating" few weeks playing in New Zealand for him according to BBC Test Match Special.
"It's been frustrating. I had a few injections into an injury I had when I was a kid,". "At the same time, it's getting slowly better. It's a patience game, a day-to-day thing. Hopefully, in a week or two time, it will be good to go." he further said.
With the help of the bowling coach Chris Silverwood, Stokes is trying to better his alignments while bowling as a measure to reduce the burden on the back. "I'm on working alignment, it's more a long-term plan. I think if I can cancel out my dip-in, which obviously loads my lower back where I've had the pain recently, that will do me good in the future"
"When I was looking at my paces off that [short run-up] I was bowling as fast as I normally do. I don't think I'll resort to that short of a run-up but it proves to me that I don't need to over-try. Sometimes I've been guilty of that."
Stokes played a strokeful innings of 66 in the 2nd innings of the first test in Wellington. But you can see a constant effort to play shots out of discomfort. He eventually got out playing a loose shot to Neil Wagner's bouncer for which he was criticised. He said, "I won't look back on the dismissal with too much pleasure but I had time at the crease which was a pleasing thing,". "Going forward it's a template I can use, I have the game to push games on but also the patience to survive."
England will be hoping for Stokes to regain his full fitness and start adding the balance he does to the team with his all-round game.