England’s spinner Jack Leach has suffered a left knee injury, forcing him to withdraw from the remainder of the England Men’s Test tour of India. The injury occurred during England’s triumph in the first Test in Hyderabad, leading to his absence in the second Test in Vizag. Leach will depart from Abu Dhabi within the next day, where the England team has been stationed ahead of the upcoming third Test in Rajkot, scheduled to commence on Thursday. He will undergo rehabilitation under the guidance of both the England and Somerset medical teams.
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Regrettably, England have decided against summoning a replacement for Leach, opting to proceed with the current squad. This setback is undoubtedly disappointing for both Leach and the team, given his contributions to England’s bowling attack. However, his health and recovery are paramount, and the focus now shifts to ensuring his swift and complete rehabilitation. The absence of Leach will necessitate adjustments in England’s strategy for the remaining matches, with the team likely to rely on alternative bowling options to fill the void left by his absence.
Leach had missed out on 2nd Test as well due to the injury, making way for Shoaib Bashir, the right-arm off spinner who made his debut in Visakhapatnam. With injury to Leach and no replacement announced for him, it seems Bashir will continue to feature in the playing 11 for England in this long series.
A statement from the ECB read: “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’s inexperienced pace attack of Rehan Ahmed, Tom Hartley and Bashir – who have 6 Tests among them – will face a tough task to do well against Indians. But it is also true that these three showed great maturity in Vizag, helping England pick all ten wickets in both the innings.
England updated squad for remaining Tests v India: Ben Stokes (captain), Rehan Ahmed, James Anderson, Gus Atkinson, Jonny Bairstow (wicketkeeper), Shoaib Bashir, Harry Brook, Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ben Foakes, Tom Hartley, Ollie Pope , Ollie Robinson, Joe Root, Mark Wood.