IND vs ENG 1st Test: England’s tough time in the opening Test match against India at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium has been compounded by an injury to a star player mid-way through the game. India are having more than a hand on the series opening game in Hyderabad with a lead of 175 in reply to England’s 246 and still have three wickets in hand. As the game moves into the third day, England are fretting over injury to a key player.
Leading spinner from the English side Jack Leach has picked up a knee injury, the team’s spin-bowling coaching Jeetan Patel has revealed. Leach picked up the injury on the opening day of the Test match itself but it got aggravated on the second day in the morning session. The left-arm spinner dived to save a boundary on Day 1 of the game before banging it again on the second day.
“He banged his knee last night, the first dive down at fine leg. Then he banged it again today and it’s giving him a little gyp, to be honest. You noticed in the outfield he was a little sluggish trying to get to balls, but he stuck at it and I thought he actually bowled really, really well considering,” spin coach Patel said.
England not looking to rush Leach
He added that the injury might be serious and he might be back in the fourth innings to bowl for them. “It must be pretty serious, or serious for him anyway, because the reality is he wouldn’t shirk that responsibility. It is sore enough. You watch him in the outfield and I don’t think it’s a graze. For him to come back and keep bowling the overs he did… I believe he’ll be back in the fourth innings.
The injury limited Leach’s duties with the ball as he delivered only 16 out of the 87 overs bowled on the second day of the match. He needed medical attention a few times and bowled a spell of a maximum of four overs at a time.
“That’s what Jack does for this team, he’ll always put in. But it’s an bit of a shame from where he’s come (recovering from a stress fracture last summer) to dive on one at fine leg and all of a sudden you’re hobbling around. He’ll be back. He’s one of the strongest guys in the team. We’ve had to share the load and the I thought the guys did really well,” he added.
Patel admitted that the team would not want to rush Leach. “He’s got another night to rest it. He’s a tough bloke and he’ll be raring to go,” Patel said. “He’s never going to shirk the responsibility of the job he has, but it’s about being smart as well. We’ve got four Tests to go and another innings at the back end of this game. We need a key man like Jack.