In the lead-up to the second Test of the five-match series against India, England encountered a significant setback as their premier spinner Jack Leach has been ruled out of the upcoming match set to commence in Visakhapatnam on Friday.
Setback for England
Leach sustained a knee injury while fielding on the first day of the Test in Hyderabad, and the issue worsened on the second morning. Despite being limited to short spells for the remainder of the match, he managed to bowl 10 crucial overs in the second innings and picked the crucial wicket of Shreyas Iyer, contributing to England’s impressive 28 runs victory.
Ben Stokes confirms the unavailability
The initial hope for Leach’s recovery before the second Test was dashed, with Captain Ben Stokes confirming his unavailability due to a haematoma in his leg resulting from the injury. Stokes expressed disappointment over this setback, particularly considering Leach’s return to the game after a prolonged absence due to a back injury. The medical team is diligently assessing the situation, aiming for a swift recovery.
“He’s ruled out of the second Test. Unfortunately, the knock he took resulted in a haematoma in his leg. It’s a big shame for us, a big shame for Jack, obviously after a long time out of the game with his back. To sustain that injury, first game back, obviously it’s frustrating. But it’s something we’re assessing every day. The medical team have taken over that, and hopefully, it’s not something that’s too serious and keeps him out for longer in the series,” Stokes was quoted as saying by ANI.
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Bench players look to fill the void
However, Leach’s absence, given his status as the most experienced specialist spinner in the England squad during the India tour, presents a challenge for the visitors in Visakhapatnam. Nevertheless, this unfortunate injury opens the door for those on the bench during the first Test to seize the opportunity and make their mark in the series.