Joe Root Gave England Injury Scare During Net Session
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Joe Root Gave England Injury Scare During Net Session

Joe Root, England captain gave his team an injury scare after getting hit by a ball during his net session ahead of the first Test vs New Zealand. Joe Root is expected to miss outdoor nets on Thursday as a precautionary measure.

England captain Joe Root was hit on his right hand while taking throwdowns from head coach Chris Silverwood ahead of the first Test of the 2-match series versus New Zealand on Monday. Chris Silverwood was using the ‘dog-thrower’ training device to help the star batsman in the nets.

England skipper Joe Root (Photo | PTI)
England skipper Joe Root (Photo | PTI)

Joe Root Struck By Ball In Hand But Isn’t Doubtful For First Test Versus Kiwis

The 30-year-old immediately left the nets for treatment after being struck by the ball and later worked inside with assistant coach Paul Collingwood before returning to England’s first major outdoor practice of the summer.

According to the Daily Mail, England later said that the hand was bruised and Joe Root may miss outdoor nets on Tuesday as a precautionary measure. However, he is not thought to be a doubt over facing Kane Williamson’s men at Lord’s from Wednesday, June 2.

Kane Williamson in action during the first Test vs West Indies. (AP)
Kane Williamson in action during the first Test vs West Indies. (AP)

The right-hander has been in good form since the start of 2021. He hit two double hundreds and a hundred in the starting two months of the year. His 228 in the first innings of Chennai Test vs India, helped England win the match by a 227-run margin. However, he did not manage to cross the 50-run mark even once in the next 7 innings of the 4-match series which his team lost 1-3.

Joe Root amassed 426 runs in four innings at an average of 106.50 including two centuries with a high score of 228 against Sri Lanka which preceded the 4 Tests against India. He is the world’s top run-scorer in Test cricket in 2021 with two double hundreds and a score of 186. He has scored 794 runs in 12 innings in 2021 at an average of 66.16.

Joe Root’s Absence May Open The Door For Haseeb Hameed Or Sam Billings

A lot will depend on Joe Root and his batting in the absence of star players like Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow, and Ben Stokes. In case Joe Root missed the first Test due to the injury, England has both Haseeb Hameed and Sam Billings in reserve after they were called up following the injury to wicketkeeper-batsman Ben Foakes.

A split image of England players Ben Foakes (left), Haseeb Hameed (centre) and Sam Billings (right) Ben Foakes (left) averages 31.53 in eight Tests, Haseeb Hameed (centre) has two fifties in three Tests and Sam Billings (right) is uncapped at Test level
Photo Credit: Twitter.

England wicketkeeper Ben Foakes will miss the two Tests against New Zealand in June with a hamstring injury, while opener Haseeb Hameed and keeper Sam Billings have been added to the squad. Surrey’s Ben Foakes slipped in the dressing room after their County Championship match against Middlesex on Sunday. Nottinghamshire’s Haseeb Hameed played three Tests in 2016 before several lean years but has impressed so far this season.

Kent’s Sam Billings is a regular in the white-ball sides but uncapped in Tests. England faces New Zealand in two Tests, starting on 2 June at Lord’s, followed by 10 June at Edgbaston.

Ben Foakes’ injury means that Gloucestershire’s James Bracey is now set to make his Test debut as England’s wicketkeeper at Lord’s. James Bracey, 24, was acting as both the keeping and batting reserve in the original 15-man squad, but with him now likely to be on the starting side, the hosts required to cover for both. New Zealand will face India in the final of the World Test Championship (WTC) after the conclusion of the England series.