England, on Sunday, suffered a major setback as lead spinner Jack Leach has been ruled out of the remainder of the Test series against India. Leach incurred a left knee injury, confirmed the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), who have, however, not named a replacement yet.
Leach sustained the injury during the opening game of the five-match Test series in Hyderabad, where England had claimed a 28-run win, before being ruled out of the second Test in Visakhapatnam. The left-arm spinner will now travel back home from Abu Dhabi, where the England team are currently stationed, owing to a short mid-tour break between the second and the third Test match of the series.
“Leach will work closely with the England and Somerset medical teams in respect of his rehabilitation,” the statement from ECB added.
ECB has yet to name a replacement for Leach, although they have a formidable spin department comprising Rehan Ahmed, Tom Hartley, and Shoaib Bashir. Not to forget, they also have a part-time spinner in Joe Root.
The series currently stand poised at 1-1 after India beat England by 106 runs in the second Test. Yashasvi Jaiswal scored a double century en route to a thundering knock of 209, Shubman Gill silenced his critics with his maiden Test century batting at No. 3 while Jasprit Bumrah picked up a record nine-wicket haul as India levelled the series in Visakhapatnam.
India on Saturday announced their squad for the final three matches. Shreyas Iyer was not named in the 17-man squad, Virat Kohli remained unavailable citing personal reasons, having earlier missed the first two Tests while Ravindra Jadeja and KL Rahul returned to the line-up, although their participation is subject to getting a clearance from BCCI’s medical team. The selectors have meanwhile added a fresh fast bowler in Akash Deep.
The third Test match will be played at the Saurashtra Cricket Association stadium in Rajkot starting February 15.