England suffered a major blow as the star spinner Jack Leach has been ruled out of the second Test against India due to an injury on his left knee. England skipper Ben Stokes confirmed the development and mentioned that the knock has resulted in a hematoma.
Meanwhile, Leach was the senior-most spinner in the squad, with the experience of playing 36 Test matches. Rehan Ahmed has two matches to his name, while Tom Hartley debuted in the first Test in Hyderabad. Shoaib Bashir, who recently joined the England camp is yet to make his debut for the national team. In such a scenario, former skipper Joe Root might have to take the responsibility of a lead spinner while the other three are likely to work around him.
Stokes added that the medical team constantly monitors Leach and expects him to get back sooner rather than later.
“He’s ruled out of the second Test. Unfortunately, the knock he took resulted in a hematoma. 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 have taken over on that, so hopefully it’s not something too serious that keeps him out for longer,” Stokes was quoted as saying on Sky Sports.
Leach is believed to have suffered the injury on Day 2 of the first Test. The 32-year-old bowled 26 overs in the first innings while bowling only ten overs in the next. He missed the training session on Wednesday and after this, the England skipper confirmed the development. His absence opens the door for Bashir, as the 20-year-old is the favorite to replace Leach in the playing XI.
He has played six first-class matches in his career and has picked up 10 wickets at an average of 67. On the other hand, Hartley’s debut stunned the Indian batters as he would aim to repeat the same to give England a 2-0 lead in the five-match series.