WATCH: Ben Stokes impresses with his fabulous hitting in practice session

The 16th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 is scheduled to begin on March 31, and fans are buzzing with excitement as the world’s biggest T20 league returns to action. The first game of the competition will see Gujarat Titans take on Chennai Super Kings in the season opener at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.

Ahead of the start of the tournament, CSK star and England all-rounder Ben Stokes was seen hitting monstrous sixes in an open-net practice session. Stokes was roped in by CSK at the 2023 IPL mini-auctions that were held in December 2022. CSK splashed the cash as the ace all-rounder was brought in for a whopping INR 16.25 crore.

CSK shared a video on their Instagram handle, where Stokes was seen hitting two huge sixes. In the video, Stokes can be seen hitting straight down the ground from above the head of the bowler with a fabulous bat flow. Being one of the biggest signings of the tournament, the franchise will hope that the 31-year-old will be key in their quest for the fifth IPL title.

Ben Stokes is likely to miss the latter stages of the IPL

Chennai Super Kings had a horrid run in the 2022 IPL; the four-time champions finished in ninth place in the IPL points table with eight points in 14 matches. They will be desperate to improve upon their performances in the forthcoming edition.

Furthermore, they could be hit with a setback in the latter stages of the tournament as newly signed Ben Stokes is likely to be with England for their one-off Test against Ireland ahead of the Ashes series.

It would be interesting to see how CSK fares in Stokes’ absence if he does miss the later stages of the competition in favour of national duty. Under MS Dhoni’s captaincy, the side will be keen on adding yet another title to their trophy cabinet. They begin their season by taking on the Hardik Panyda-led Gujarat Titans, who are also the defending champions of the tournament.