Jack Leach to miss second Test against India due to injury
England’s Jack Leach will miss the second Test against India due to an injury, paving the way for his Somerset teammate Shoaib Bashir to potentially make his international debut.
The 32-year-old left-arm spinner, Leach, played a limited role in England’s remarkable 28-run victory in the series opener, overcoming a first-inning deficit of 190 runs, but was hindered by a left knee issue.
Ben Stokes, England’s captain, confirmed Leach’s absence, stating, “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.” Stokes expressed hope that the injury won’t keep Leach out for an extended period, but the medical team is closely monitoring the situation.
Shoaib Bashir, who had to address a visa problem in London last week, is now in contention for an international debut.
Despite having limited experience, Bashir returned in time to witness the final day of England’s sensational victory in the first Test.
While the 20-year-old off-spinner has only claimed 10 first-class wickets at an average of 67, England may consider him an option, especially after the impressive performance by rookie left-arm spinner Tom Hartley in the previous match.
Stokes admitted, “To be perfectly honest, our training camp in Abu Dhabi was the first real live look I got at Bash. The first time I saw him was on Twitter. I think the County Championship put a little clip together of him bowling against Sir Alastair (Cook). I just saw something. With the height he bowled from, it was very obvious that he put a lot of action, a lot of revolutions, on the ball.”
England’s decision on the final playing XI for the second Test will depend on assessments and considerations of available options.