Ben Stokes expressed disappointment as he confirmed that Jack Leach won’t play in the second Test against India, citing a leg haematoma from a recent knock.

England’s captain, Ben Stokes, confirmed the unfortunate absence of Jack Leach in the upcoming second Test against India at Visakhapatnam. Leach sustained a left knee injury while fielding during England’s recent victory in the series opener at Hyderabad. Despite only securing two wickets in the first Test, Leach played a crucial role, providing support to debutant Tom Hartley in the second innings, putting pressure on the Indian batters.

The ruling out of Leach for the second Test stems from a hematoma in his leg resulting from the recent knock, adding to the challenges for England, especially considering Leach’s prior extended absence due to a back injury.

“He’s ruled out of the second Test. Unfortunately, the knock he took resulted in a hematoma in his leg. It’s a big shame for us, a big shame for Jack, obviously after a long time out of the game with his back,” said Stokes to ESPNCricinfo.

“To sustain that injury, first game back, obviously it’s frustrating. But it’s something we’re assessing every day. The medical team have taken over that, and hopefully, it’s not something that’s too serious and keeps him out for longer in the series,” he added.

If the team opts to maintain the current lineup, Shoaib Bashir, delayed due to a visa issue earlier on the tour, may step in for Leach. The decision on Leach’s replacement will be made after assessing the pitch and conditions, according to the English skipper. Stokes, along with Brendon McCullum and vice-captain Ollie Pope, will deliberate on the matter.

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Last Updated on February 1, 2024

Senior Sports Copywriter