Jack Leach likely to miss Second Test; Ben Stokes names a replacment

Jack Leach

The spinner Jack Leach will be likely to miss the upcoming second Test which is set to be played in Visakhapatnam starting on Friday. It is due to the left knee injury he sustained during the series opener match in England’s tour of India 2024.

Jack Leach likely to miss Second Test

The seasonal spinner Jack Leach injured his knee while fielding on the first day of the Test. It became worse on the second day morning. Due to the injury, he bowled only 10 overs in the match where he dismissed Shreyas Iyer.

England won the first Test with a 28-run difference. While the injury was hoped to be a bruise, which is expected to recover soon. But his knee kept on swelling due to which he couldn’t participate in the training session on Wednesday.

Although the side is set to wait until Thursday morning to include his name in playing 11, the team management has to make an option to add a seamer.

But by the eve of Wednesday, Jack Leach was said to have suffered from a back stress fracture and will be missing the test.

Ben Stokes was not happy with the medical reports.”He’s ruled out of the second Test,” Stokes said.

“Unfortunately, the knock he took resulted in a hematoma 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 has taken over that, and hopefully, it’s not something that’s too serious and keeps him out for longer in the series.”

It has been indicated that an uncapped player will be replacing him in the squad. The player Shoaib Malik who experienced late visa clearance to travel to India will be included in the squad.

He was backed by Rohit Sharma and Ben Stokes on the Visa clearance issue. The Uncapped player has missed the first test and has joined the group and got back into training.

“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 [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.”

Bashir landed in Hyderabad on Sunday during day four of the first Test. He went straight to the ground. On seeing him, Stokes was delighted to get him back in the squad.

“I mentioned to Wayne [Bentley, the England team manager] that Bash doesn’t have to stay here if he doesn’t want to. But he was like, ‘no, no, I’m staying for this.'”

Bashir was set to see the wonderful spell of another debutant Tom Hartley who bagged seven wickets for 62 runs to make a path for victory.

“It was great for him to see that on his first day back in the camp and to see what Test cricket can bring out, and what it is like,” said Stokes.

“He would have seen it on TV before but to be in the dressing room and see the emotion as well I think was great for him. He knows what it is like and hopefully, it wants to make him do it even more.”

Stokes spoke about the first exposure of Bashir to him which came through social media.

“To be perfectly honest, Abu Dhabi was the first real live look I got at Bash,” Stokes said. “The first time I saw him was on Twitter. I think the County Championship [account] put a little clip together of him bowling against Sir Alastair.

“I’m in a WhatsApp group with Keysy and Baz. I did forward the clip on and said, ‘Have a look at this, this could be something we could work with on our India tour’ and it just progressed from there. He got selected on the Lions tour and obviously, the coaches on that tour fed back everything to us.”

Stokes has to decide on taking Bashir to play 11 after Tom Hartley. He thinks that Bashir has the potential to recreate the success made by Will Jack and Rehan Ahmed haul’s in Pakistan.

“When it came to selection, there wasn’t too much thought around him to be honest, because everyone was very, very impressed with what Bash showed. And everything we wanted in our spin group was answered by Bashir,” he concluded.

The playing 11 of both sides will be revealed by the time of the toss. India and England will be playing their second Test starting on February 02 at ACA-VDCA Stadium.