Copy of SPO_231016 BEN STOKES-1697717809198
England's Ben Stokes catches a waterbottle during a drinks break against Afghanistan at Arun Jaitley Stadium, New Delhi. Image Credit: Reuters

London: Ben Stokes has declared himself ready for action in England’s crucial World Cup clash against South Africa after missing the first three games of the campaign through injury.

England’s title defence in India is in deep trouble after a shock defeat to Afghanistan left them with a single win to their name.

Test skipper Stokes suffered a hip injury during England’s build-up to the tournament but has given himself the green light to face the Proteas in Mumbai on Saturday.

'Frustrating niggle'

Speaking before a training session at the Wankhede Stadium that will double up as a final vigorous fitness test, Stokes told the BBC: “It was a frustrating little niggle to get before the tournament but I have worked very hard to get back to where I am and making myself ready to be available for selection.

“We have had a few days off since the last game and first training session here in Mumbai. I’ll give it a good push but, yes, I think everything is pretty good. I am in a good place.”

The powerful batsman played down the hype surrounding his return.

“I know I am one person in a team sport,” said the 32-year-old, who starred in the 2019 World Cup final.

“No one looks to one person in this team to inspire them or anything like that. It is not the case that if I do come in then all of a sudden we are going to do well. It is just one of those things that gets spoken about a lot but I don’t read too much into it”.

“Everyone that walks out on to that field for England is a match winner and can do something individually that can win us a game. We just need to tone it down a bit on me coming back in.”