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New Zealand Coach Hopes Ben Stokes Doesn't Repeat Record-breaking Performance at World Cup Opener

Ben Stokes executes a stroke in the midst of his historic innings against New Zealand

New Zealand's coach, Gary Stead, expressed his hope that Ben Stokes, the England all-rounder, won't deliver another exceptional batting performance when they face off at the World Cup next month. Stokes recently made headlines by scoring 182 runs off 124 balls in an ODI against New Zealand, setting a new individual scoring record for England in the 50-overs format. Despite Stokes' remarkable achievement, Stead remains optimistic that his bowlers have already faced the best of Stokes and that he won't replicate such a performance during the World Cup opener scheduled for October 5th.

England currently holds a 2-1 lead in the ongoing four-match series against New Zealand, following a T20 series that ended in a 2-2 tie. While Stokes dominated the recent ODI, New Zealand's fast bowler Trent Boult has been in excellent form since returning to action. Boult took 5 wickets for 51 runs, including crucial dismissals like opener Jonny Bairstow for a duck and Joe Root for just four runs. However, despite these promising starts, New Zealand has struggled to capitalize on them fully.

In addition to discussing Stokes and Boult's performances, Stead also addressed the absence of spin-bowling all-rounder Mitch Santner from the match. Santner missed the game due to knee soreness, which was the result of a fielding incident during the second ODI in Southampton. Fortunately, scans of Santner's knee revealed no major issues, providing some relief for the New Zealand team.

In summary, Stead's comments reflect the competitive spirit and anticipation surrounding the upcoming World Cup match between England and New Zealand, with both teams eager to perform at their best in this high-stakes cricket event.

By: Vibha Kapoor