England Suffers Big Setback with Star Player Ruled Out of Final Three India Tests



The third Test is set to begin on February 15 in Rajkot, followed by the fourth Test in Ranchi on February 23. England’s prospects in the ongoing Test series against India have taken a significant hit as spinner Jack Leach will play no further part in the matches due to a knee injury, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced. The experienced left-arm spinner sustained the injury during the first Test in Hyderabad, which England won. Despite not participating in the second Test in Visakhapatnam, England hesitated to rule him out immediately. However, after assessing his condition during the break in Abu Dhabi, the ECB confirmed Leach’s unavailability for the remainder of the series. ‘He will fly home from Abu Dhabi in the next 24 hours, where the England team have been staying ahead of the third Test in Rajkot, which starts on Thursday. Leach will work closely with the England and Somerset medical teams in respect of his rehabilitation,’ England Cricket said in a release. The ECB clarified that no replacement would be called up, as England already has four spinners, including part-timer Joe Root, in their squad. Leach suffered the knee injury while fielding in the first Test, where he displayed resilience by picking up two wickets and contributing with bat and ball in England’s 28-run victory. The spinner, whose last competitive match was in June the previous year, missed the Ashes due to a lower-back stress fracture, and his return to action has been challenging. The absence of Jack Leach leaves England with an inexperienced spin attack for the remaining Tests, featuring Rehan Ahmed, Shoaib Bashir, and Tom Hartley, along with Joe Root. Rehan has played three Tests, Hartley made his debut in Hyderabad, and Bashir debuted in Visakhapatnam. England, concluding their stay in Abu Dhabi, will arrive in India on Monday and commence training for the third Test, scheduled to start on February 15 in Rajkot.