Visakhapatnam, Feb 1 (IANS) England have suffered a major injury blow as experienced left-arm spinner Jack Leach will miss the second Test against India due to injury.
England had been hoping that the injury would settle down and Leach would be available for the second Test that commences in Visakhapatnam on Friday, but skipper Ben Stokes revealed the 32-year-old would be forced to sit on the sidelines for the second match.
“He’s ruled out of the second Test,” Stokes said of Leach, as quoted by ICC. “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,” he added.
England are still yet to finalise the make-up of their XI for the second Test, with young uncapped off-spinner Shoaib Bashir in contention to replace Leach should the tourists look to include another spinner.
Stokes said he was confident Bashir could perform well on debut if he was selected to partner fellow spinners Rehan Ahmed and Tom Hartley for the second Test.
“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.
“Myself, Baz (coach 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.”