IPL 2020 MI vs RR: Will Ben Stokes be available to play against Mumbai Indians?

IPL 2020 MI vs RR: England all-rounder Ben Stokes has finally joined his team Rajasthan Royals for the 13th edition of Dream11 Indian Premier League. He arrived in UAE on Saturday and as per Covid-19 protocols is currently under quarantine. RR will be a happy side to have their star all-rounder back as they look to regain the winning momentum when they take on Mumbai Indians in Abu Dhabi. But the big question is ‘Will Ben Stokes be ready to play against MI?’

Latest Update on Ben Stokes availability

The answer is No. As per the protocols he will have to be in quarantine for six days before being eligible for selection.

Stokes underwent his first Covid-19 test on Sunday, and if all goes as per plan, he should be ready to take the field for Royals’ game against Sunrisers Hyderabad in Dubai on October 11.

“He started his quarantine phase as soon as he reached the hotel. He will have his first test today and with the six-day period ending the day we play against Delhi Capitals in Sharjah, we are looking at him playing against SRH. It will also help him get back into the groove as he has been off the field for some time,” a Rajasthan Royals official told ANI.

How will Ben Stokes return help Rajasthan Royals?

Stokes joining the team is a huge boost for the Royals as they have lost two of the four games they have played so far, with their game against Royals Challengers Bangalore in Abu Dhabi ending in a defeat on Saturday.

His presence in the middle-order will be a big boost as their other overseas star Jos Buttler has failed to give them impressive starts and that has seen the middle-order come under pressure. The likes of Robin Uthappa and Riyan Parag have failed to live up tp the expectations and the middle-order needs a bit of a reshuffle for the Royals. His shrewdness with ball will prove to be a big relief for skipper Steve Smith during tight situations.

If Ben Stokes comes in, who goes out?

This will be another big question which mentor Shane Warne, coach Andrew McDonald and captain Smith need to work upon.

Currently the four overseas players in the playing XI are Jos Buttler, Steve Smith, Tom Curran and Jofra Archer. With Archer and Smith Royals’ leading bowler and batsman respectively, it will be between Curran and Buttler.

It is possible that RR decides to bench out-of-form Buttler, and Uthappa to make room for Yashasvi Jaiswal and Stokes. The 18-year-old can then resume his duties as an opener, while Stokes take No.5 spot. Sanju Samson can then be handed the keeping gloves.

Probable XI: Yashaswi Jaiswal, Steven Smith (c), Sanju Samson (wk), Ben Stokes, Mahipal Lomror, Riyan Parag, Rahul Tewatia, Tom Curran, Shreyas Gopal, Jofra Archer, Jaydev Unadkat