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Ben Stokes Confirms Jack Leach Ruled Out For Second Test Against India
By CricShots - Feb 1, 2024 12:06 pm
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England’s second Test against India is marred by the absence of star spinner Jack Leach, who has been ruled out due to a left knee injury resulting in a haematoma. With Leach out, the England squad faces a spin-bowling conundrum. Rehan Ahmed and debutant Tom Hartley, both relatively inexperienced, are the available options, alongside the recently joined Shoaib Bashir, yet to make his national team debut.

Jack Leach
Jack Leach

Captain Ben Stokes expressed disappointment at the loss of Leach, the most seasoned spinner in the squad with 36 Test matches under his belt. Joe Root, the former captain, might need to step up as the primary spinner, while the others work around him. Stokes revealed that Leach’s injury is being closely monitored by the medical team, expressing hope for a swift recovery.

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Ben Stokes shared, “He’s ruled out of the second Test. Unfortunately, the knock he took resulted in a haematoma. It’s a big shame for us and a big shame for him. It’s something we’re assessing every day, but the medical team has taken over on that, so hopefully, it’s not something too serious that keeps him out for longer.”

Ben Stokes
Ben Stokes and Jack Leach

The injury is believed to have occurred on Day 2 of the first Test, where Leach bowled 26 overs in the first innings and 10 overs in the second. Missing the Wednesday training session raised concerns, leading to the confirmation of his absence for the second Test. Stokes acknowledged the challenge ahead but expressed confidence in the available options.

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Shoaib Bashir, having recently joined the England camp, is a likely contender to replace Leach in the playing XI. Despite his limited experience, the 20-year-old spinner could step up in this critical situation. Tom Hartley, who impressed on his debut in Hyderabad, will aim to replicate his performance and contribute to England’s quest for a 2-0 lead in the five-match series.