In a strategic move to fortify their title defense at the upcoming 50-over World Cup, England is keen on persuading Ben Stokes to reconsider his one-day international hiatus. The selection panel, poised to reveal an 18-player tentative lineup for the championship in India, is on the lookout for two pivotal developments: a potential nod from vice-captain Jos Buttler to Stokes and the latest health update on their 2019 standout, Jofra Archer.

Battling persistent knee concerns during the Ashes, the 32-year-old Stokes nonetheless showcased his batting caliber, notably with scores of 155 at Lord’s and an 80 in Leeds. He’s hinted at the necessity for in-depth discussions regarding his participation in India, leaning towards taking a break as opposed to undergoing surgery for his knee ailment.

On the other hand, Archer, sidelined for a significant part of the English season due to an elbow concern, is gradually getting back into the groove with practice sessions at Sussex. White-ball coach, Matthew Mott, is optimistic about Stokes’ potential involvement, underscoring the pivotal roles he’s played previously.

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Commenting on Archer, Mott noted, “Given his stature, we might consider some risks. His recovery timeframe is tight, but talent like his warrants every available chance.” Archer’s recent fast bowling feats in South Africa and Bangladesh have been commendable. Yet, it may not be feasible to have him on the field for every match, hinting at a more calculated deployment.

Mott also highlighted the significance of having a duo of top-tier pace bowlers for the World Cup, given the distinctive gameplay on subcontinental pitches. “Being able to destabilize top orders and curtail big scores can offer us a competitive edge,” he added.

As per ICC guidelines, England’s final 15-player roster must be locked in by September 28. This anticipated list, potentially featuring Stokes and Archer, is set to be unveiled this Thursday. In tandem, the teams for the series against New Zealand and Ireland, as well as the West Indies tour, will be disclosed.

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However, there’s an air of unpredictability. In the past, England grappled with ensuring player commitment, especially with the allure of the Twenty20 league. This was apparent when key player Joe Root was permitted to bypass the South Africa tour. Also, in light of injuries to Tom Abell and Will Jacks during the Bangladesh trip, they had to resort to Sam Curran’s adaptability. Responding to such challenges, Mott shared, “It’s not about apprehensions, but being pragmatic. We aim to foster an environment where players relish being part of the squad.”