Former England pacer Steve Harmison has expressed his concerns about Ben Stokes’ heavy workload, after seeing the overs he bowled in the first Test against South Africa. Hence, Harmison said that the all-rounder’s Test career might not last as long as expected by all. Stokes, who is now England’s Test captain, bowled 18 overs in South Africa’s only innings of the first Test. Despite his knee issues, he gave another stunning effort on day two of the match and claimed three wickets to keep England in contention.
Speaking on talkSport2, Harmison stated: “Somebody’s going to have to go to him and tap him on the shoulder, and say ‘Right, the positive outcome of this situation is you’re going to have to stop bowling like that because you’ve retired from modern day cricket, to prolong your test match career’. I think Ben said it himself, or Brendon said it, or Keysey said it, ‘Ben Stokes to play 120-125 test matches’. He plays 125 if he doesn’t bowl like that. If he bowls like that, he probably won’t play 100.”
However, Ben Stokes quit one-day cricket a few weeks ago, citing an “unsustainable schedule.” However, he has committed himself to red-ball cricket and T20 internationals now. Meanwhile, Harmison further added that Ben Stokes hasn’t been bowling smoothly due to some injury and that affecting his body too as well.
“I’m not sure (when was) the last Test match I have seen Ben Stokes bowl in a game, a full game, without me thinking he’s wincing or he’s got an injury or there’s something not quite right here.”And the longer that goes on with the body he’s got, the more we are potentially chalking off Test matches as England captain, as England’s all-rounder, potentially as an England cricketer,” he concluded.