Visakhapatnam: England’s hopes of fielding their frontline spinner Jack Leach in the second Test against India have been dashed due to a knee injury. Captain Ben Stokes confirmed the 32-year-old’s absence, raising questions about the team’s spin attack for the crucial match starting on Friday.
Stokes expressed disappointment for Leach, who recently returned to the game after a prolonged absence due to a back injury. The medical team is assessing the situation, hoping the injury won’t extend Leach’s absence in the series.
As England consider the composition of their XI for the second Test, uncapped off-spinner Shoaib Bashir is a potential replacement for Leach. Stokes expressed confidence in Bashir’s abilities and emphasized the positive mindset the debutant would bring to the team.
Stokes, along with coach Brendon McCullum and vice-captain Ollie Pope, will carefully consider the decision, taking into account the pitch conditions. Stokes highlighted that Bashir is not in the squad just for the experience and could be a valuable addition if the team decides to turn to him in the upcoming match.