Jack Leach to miss 2nd Test against India (AP Image)
Ben Stokes expressed his disappointment over Leach missing the second Test and said it’s a big shame for us and the left-arm spinner.
England captain Ben Stokes has confirmed that Jack Leach has been ruled out of the second Test against India at Visakhapatnam. The left-arm spinner sustained an injury on his left knee while fielding during England’s thrilling 28-run win over India in the series opener at Hyderabad last week.
Leach claimed only two wickets in the opening Test but he gave able support to debutant Tom Hartely in the second innings to put pressure on the Indian batters.
Stokes expressed his disappointment over Leach missing the second Test and said it’s a big shame for us and the left-arm spinner.
“He’s ruled out of the second Test,” Stokes said. “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,” said the English captain as quoted by ESPNCricinfo.
Leach is the most experienced specialist spinner in the England squad on the India tour and his absence will hurt the visitors in Vizag.
Stokes further provided an update on Leach’s injury and said he has been assessed every day by the medical team.
“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.”
If England decide to stick with the same combination from the last match then Shoaib Bashir, who faced the visa delay earlier on the tour, might get a chance in place of Leach in the XI.
However, Stoke suggested that they have not taken the final decision on the playing XI yet.
“If he was to play on this tour, then the great thing he has on his side is, what is there to lose?” Stokes said. “That is how I will be thinking about it, if he gets the chance to play: just to make sure I can give him the best experience I possibly can. Because you only play your first Test match once. If he does play, then I will be trying to make it as enjoyable and fun for him as I can.”
The English skipper that the team management and leadership group will assess the wicket and conditions before announcing Leach’s replacement in the playing XI.
“Myself, Baz [Brendon McCullum] and Popey [vice-captain Ollie Pope] will probably have a longer think about it. We looked at the wicket; I gave it a tap, and a play-around to make it look like I knew what I was doing. Bash is in the squad, we haven’t brought him here to have an experience. If we feel we want to turn to him, we will,” he added.