Thrice has the World Cup been England’s prize, with Ben Stokes proving instrumental in two recent victories. As the upcoming World Cup looms, whispers of Stokes’s potential comeback are buzzing, adding to the palpable excitement for England’s campaign.

Yet, his spot isn’t cemented. Both the team and Stokes need to evaluate his readiness for the demanding competition. Welcoming Stokes back would mean reshuffling the team’s strategy, especially given the uncertainties about his bowling. However, these are pleasant challenges for England to navigate, suggesting that we might very well see Stokes in action in India.

Previously, his invaluable traits of adaptability and a cool head under pressure were the driving forces behind his selection for the T20 World Cup in Australia. He showcased these in nail-biting chases, underscoring his knack for delivering in crucial moments.

Without any official captaincy title, Stokes’s innate leadership qualities shine through. His motivational words after England’s loss to Ireland in the T20 World Cup are a testament to his role as a team motivator.

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Stokes’s Mastery in One-Day Internationals

Apart from his well-documented heroics, Stokes illuminated the Ashes with his bat. His remarkable innings at significant venues like Lord’s and Headingley were standouts. Despite playing a limited number of ODIs post the 2019 finale, his adeptness in this format is unmatched. Boasting an impressive ODI average, Stokes’s ability to adjust and perform in the middle order sets him apart.

Potential Contributions with the Ball

Stokes’s primary strength undeniably lies in his batting, but his auxiliary bowling could be an asset. Even a few overs from him could enhance England’s strategic depth. Last year saw a versatile English lineup, enriched by the likes of Moeen Ali, Liam Livingstone, Sam Curran, and Chris Woakes, among others. As these stalwarts possibly gear up for India, coupled with Joe Root’s off-spin, England’s roster looks promising.

A potential starting lineup, peppered with talents like Bairstow, Roy or Malan, Root, and more, offers not just a batting stronghold but also a dynamic bowling arsenal, more so if Stokes lends his bowling prowess.

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The Broader Impact of a Stokes Comeback

Beyond team dynamics, Stokes’s potential return carries significant resonance in the cricketing world. Even as the ODI World Cup occasionally grapples with its identity between Tests and T20s, its allure remains undiminished among players. Renowned cricketers, from Jofra Archer to Kane Williamson, are tailoring their returns with the World Cup in focus. For icons like Trent Boult, it marks a resurgence in national representation.

The significance of the ODI World Cup is indisputable. Legends like Sachin Tendulkar have earmarked their World Cup triumphs as career highlights. In the context of such endorsements, Stokes’s anticipated return amplifies the notion that in the realm of cricket, the ODI World Cup remains the ultimate accolade.