England cricket team have suffered a major blow ahead of the third Test against India. Star spinner Jack Leach has been ruled out of the remainder of the series with a left knee injury, which he suffered during the first match in Hyderabad.
Jack Leach hurt himself while fielding in the first Test and was looking in a lot of discomfort. He did play a part in the Hyderabad Test with the ball but wasn’t deemed fit to take part in the Vizag Test. It was expected that he would return to the team for the third game but his injury has proved out to be much worse than expected.
Jack Leach travelled with the England team for a short break in Abu Dhabi ahead of the third Test. He won’t be returning to India and will fly out from the gulf country to his home in the next 24 hours. The spinner will be getting medical attention from ECB and his county team for his recovery.
England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) released an official statement, citing about Jack Leach. The governing body also confirmed that they won’t be announcing any replacement for the spinner. The official statement read:
“England and Somerset spinner Jack Leach has been ruled out of the rest of England Men’s Test tour of India with a left knee injury. Leach sustained the injury during England’s first Test victory in Hyderabad and missed the second Test in Vizag as a result.
“He will fly home from Abu Dhabi in the next 24 hours, where the England team have been staying ahead of the third Test in Rajkot, which starts on Thursday. Leach will work closely with the England and Somerset medical teams in respect of his rehabilitation. England will not be calling up a replacement.”
It will be a huge blow for England because Jack Leach would’ve proved to be crucial for the team in the last three games. The spinner was the only experienced bowler in the spin bowling department for the team. With only rookie spinners in the side, it will be a big challenge for the team.
Onus on Tom Hartley, Rehan Ahmed and Shoaib Bashir in the absence of Jack Leach
With Jack Leach being ruled out of the entire Test series, the onus will now be on Tom Hartley, Rehan Ahmed and Shoaib Bashir to help the team handle the spin bowling. The trio were decent with the ball in the second game but the inexperience was clearly visible as they couldn’t bowl consistently.
Skipper Ben Stokes will have to play a huge role in managing his bowlers. He backed the young bowlers pretty well in the two games and would be hoping to replicate the same. The kind of confidence that he showed in young bowlers helped them succeed.
England squad for the last three Tests against India
Ben Stokes, James Anderson, Rehan Ahmed, Gus Atkinson, Jonny Bairstow, Shoib Bashir, Harry Brook, Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ben Foakes (wk), Tom Hartley, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Joe Root, Mark Wood.
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