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Ben Foakes

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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.

Ben Stokes
Ben Stokes
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Ben Stokes Will Miss England’s Test Series Against New Zealand Due To Surgery

Ben Stokes will miss England’s Test series against New Zealand as he requires surgery on a broken finger that will rule the all-rounder out for up to three months.

Ben Stokes broke his hand taking a catch for Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League earlier this week and a repeat X-ray and CT scan on Friday revealed that he has a fracture of his left index finger.

Ben Stokes (Photo | AP)
Ben Stokes, England all-rounder (Photo | AP)

Ben Stokes May Miss Both New Zealand Tests As Well As Limited Overs Series Against Sri Lanka And Pakistan

A specialist hand surgeon told Ben Stokes that he would require surgery and the 29-year-old will now fly home from India and have surgery in Leeds. Originally, it had been thought that Ben Stokes might only be ruled out for six weeks, and therefore still be in contention to play the first Test against New Zealand, which is at Lord’s on June 2.

Ben Stokes has proven to be a thorn in the side of the Black Caps throughout his career. Photo / Photosport
Ben Stokes has proven to be a thorn in the side of the Black Caps throughout his career. Photo / Photosport

Instead, Ben Stokes will now miss both NZ Tests, as well as the three Twenty20 internationals and three one-day internationals against Sri Lanka. He is also likely to miss the three ODIs and three T20Is against Pakistan, which conclude on July 20. Ben Stokes’ absence will have major implications for England’s Test side against New Zealand, depriving them of an all-rounder who balances their side.

Ben Stokes Absence May Increase Chances Of Chris Woakes At No. 7 If England Need An All-Rounder

Without him, England should be able to retain both Dan Lawrence and Ollie Pope in their Test XI, if they deem that four specialist bowlers are sufficient in early-season conditions. One of the two may yet bat at No 3 – the only way of accommodating both in a full-strength line-up when Ben Stokes returns at five, with Joe Root at four.

England’s batting situation is further complicated by opener Dom Sibley suffering a suspected broken finger, too. Should Dom Sibley be fit, England’s likeliest top six for the first Test at Lord’s at this stage is Dom Sibley, Rory Burns, Zak Crawley, Joe Root, Ollie Pope, and Dan Lawrence. But Rory Burns was dropped last winter and needs to score consistently in county cricket to retain his berth.

England’s Chris Woakes walks off after his match-winning innings against Pakistan in the first Test at Old Trafford. Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian
England’s Chris Woakes walks off after his match-winning innings against Pakistan in the first Test at Old Trafford. Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian

If England feels that they need a fifth bowler, then Chris Woakes could slot in at No 7, below the wicketkeeper – either Jos Buttler, depending on Rajasthan’s IPL availability, or either Ben Foakes or James Brace. In this scenario, England would have to leave out one of Dom Sibley, Rory Burns, Zak Crawley, Ollie Pope, and Dan Lawrence.

Ben Stokes now faces a race to be Test-match fit for England’s summer opener against India, which begins at Trent Bridge on August 4. England plays five Tests against India, but, with the Hundred launching on July 21, Ben Stokes could now go into that series without any first-class cricket in five months, going back to England’s 3-1 defeat in India last winter. Apart from Ben Stokes, speedster Jofra Archer has also been ruled out of the New Zealand Tests.

England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) had announced a 15-member squad to face New Zealand in the two-match Test series which is all set to take place from June 02. Notably, veteran English batsman, Jos Buttler has been rested for the Test series as part of the English rotation policy.

England Squad For New Zealand Tests: Joe Root, James Anderson, James Bracey, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Zak Crawley, Ben Foakes, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Craig Overton, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Dom Sibley, Olly Stone, Mark Wood.

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 23: Michael Vaughan of the BBC commentary team laughs as he waits to speak on air before play on day one of the First Test Match of the 2017/18 Ashes Series between Australia and England at The Gabba on November 23, 2017 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
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Michael Vaughan Terms Chennai Test Pitch As A ‘Shocker’

Michael Vaughan, former England skipper on Sunday termed the second match’s Test pitch as a “shocker” and added that it is not a proper wicket conducive for a five-day match to happen.

Michael Vaughan’s comment came after the wicket offered much assistance to spinners on the second day of the ongoing second Test between India and England at Chennai’s MA Chidambaram Stadium.

Michael Vaughan
Michael Vaughan. Photo Credit: Twitter.

Michael Vaughan: Let’s Be Honest This Pitch Is Not A 5-Day Prepared Pitch And A Shocker

Indian spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel shared 7 wickets between them including skipper Joe Root (6). Ravichandran Ashwin bagged the wickets of Dom Sibley, Dan Lawrence, Ben Stokes, Olly Stone, and Stuart Broad while Axar Patel dismissed Joe Root and Moeen Ali.

England was bundled for 134 in reply to India’s 329. India is 54/1 at stumps leading by 249 runs on the 2nd day.  After bundling out India for 329, England got off to the worst start possible as Rory Burns (0) was adjudged leg-before wicket of the delivery bowled by Ishant Sharma in the very first over of the innings.

Axar Patel celebrates the wicket of Joe Root on Day 2, in Chennai.© Twitter/ ICC
Axar Patel celebrates the wicket of Joe Root on Day 2, in Chennai.© Twitter/ICC

Soon after, Ravichandran Ashwin removed Dom Sibley (16) and England was reduced to 16/2 in the eighth over. Double Centurion in first Test and man in form Skipper Joe Root (6) failed to leave a mark as he top-edged the ball delivered by Axar Patel and as a result, the left-arm spinner got his first wicket in Tests.

Ben Foakes Top Scores For England Remaining Unbeaten On 42

Ben Stokes fell for 22 while Ben Foakes scored 42 off 107 balls remained unbeaten and were the saving grace in England’s poor batting display on a pitch aiding the spinners. England was reeling at 52/5 at one stage but somewhat recovered and managed 134.

Ben Foakes (Getty Images)
Ben Foakes (Getty Images)

Earlier, Rishabh Pant’s (58*) unbeaten half-century guided the side to 329 in their first innings. India lost quick wickets in the first session of the second day and was only able to add 29 runs to their overnight total. On the opening day of the 2nd Test, Rohit Sharma played a knock of 161 while Ajinkya Rahane provided him support with a knock of 67 to help the hosts gain an upper hand in the match.

Michael Vaughan, the former England skipper, termed Chepauk’s pitch as a beach in a tweet earlier on 1st day as the pitch offered much turn and assistant to spinners on the very first day of the 2nd Test. In the 2nd Test, India won the toss and opted to bat. Both Shubman Gill and skipper Virat Kohli failed to score any run, but opener Rohit Sharma scored a century. For England, Moeen Ali returned with figures of 4/128.

India(Virat Kohli) vs England(Joe Root)
India(Virat Kohli) vs England(Joe Root)
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England To Serve 6 Day Quarantine, Get Only 3 Days To Train Before 1st Test

England will be serving a six-day quarantine after landing in India and get only three days to train before the first Test, starting Feb 5 in Chennai.

England cricket team will get only three days to train before the Test series against India starts on February 5 due to a six-day quarantine requirement for the visitors. England will land in India after completing their tour of Sri Lanka.

England vs Sri Lanka
England vs Sri Lanka – Image Credit: Twitter

England And India Will Play A 4 Test Series At Chennai And Ahmedabad

England led by Joe Root and India will play in a four-Test series, with the first two matches set to play in Chennai, before the series moves to Ahmedabad for the final two Tests. The third Test of the series will be a day-night encounter, starting on 24 February.

Joe Root
Joe Root. Image Credit: Getty Images.

According to a report in ‘The Telegraph’, England will fly to Chennai on Wednesday for the first two Tests of the four-match series and will undergo a strict quarantine on arrival.

Ben Stokes And Jofra Archer Returns While Johnny Bairstow Rested Among Others

Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer and Rory Burns, who have been rested for the ongoing series in Sri Lanka, arrived in India on Sunday night and will get five days to train following their hotel quarantine. It will be the first international series to be held in India amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Ben Stokes (right) and Jonny Bairstow (left)
Ben Stokes (right) and Jonny Bairstow (left) Photo Credit: Getty Images.

The series, to be played in a bio-bubble, is also crucial in the context of the World Test Championship. India are on top of the points table after their memorable series win in Australia. Notably, Jonny Bairstow, Mark Wood and Sam Curran have been rested by England for the first two Tests against India, starting on 5 February in Chennai.

The England selectors have rested Jonny Bairstow for the first two Tests, while wicket-keeper batsman Jos Buttler will return home after the first Test. The national selectors have rested Jonny Bairstow, Sam Curran, and Mark Wood for the first and second Tests in India. Ben Foakes will keep wickets while Ollie Pope will be added to the squad if deemed fit enough.

England squad (for the first two Tests): Joe Root (c), Jofra Archer, Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler*, Zak Crawley, Ben Foakes, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Dom Sibley, Ben Stokes, Olly Stone, Chris Woakes.

Jonny Bairstow, Test wicketkeeper
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Jonny Bairstow Can Be Removed From Test Wicketkeeper Role After Poor Batting Performances

English cricketer Jonny Bairstow had a very tough time with the bat during the recently concluded home Ashes 2019. The selectors are thinking to give him rest from the Test wicketkeeping duty to find his Test batting form.

Jonny Bairstow was one of the consistent run-scorers in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019. He was the second most run-scorer for England and the sixth most overall run-scorer in that tournament. The right-handed batsman scored 532 runs in 11 innings of that tournament with an average of 48.36. He hit two consecutive centuries and two more half-centuries in that tournament. His batting played an important role for England to win their first-ever Cricket World Cup trophy.

Read More: No MS Dhoni For Vijay Hazare Trophy, Varun Aaron To Lead Jharkhand

Jonny Bairstow
Jonny Bairstow (Image Credit: Getty Images)

Jonny Bairstow had an average of 23.77 in Ashes 2019

However, the picture was totally different in the Ashes 2019. Playing as a wicketkeeper-batsman in the recent home Ashes series, Bairstow scored 214 runs in 10 innings with an average of 23.77. Apart from one half-century, he managed to reach the 30-run mark only twice more in the Ashes 2019.

Jonny Bairstow, Test wicketkeeper
Jonny Bairstow has recently struggled in Test cricket (Image Credit: Google)

Since last February, Bairstow has returned to the Test wicketkeeping role but his Test batting performances have declined hugely. As a Test wicketkeeper-batsman, Bairstow has scored only 216 runs in 13 innings (average 18.00) in this calendar year. He scored two ducks during the Lord’s Test against Ireland in last July.

In the CWC 2019, Bairstow played only as an opening batsman. But in the recent Test matches, he served as a wicketkeeper-batsman.

Read More: Iknoor Singh Smashes Stunning Triple-Century In 25-Over Game PCA 2019

Observing the present deteriorating Test batting performances, the selectors are thinking to give Bairstow rest from the Test wicketkeeping role. In late November, England will play their next Test series against the hosts New Zealand. Bairstow can play this series only as a batsman.

Ben Foakes can return as Test wicketkeeper

Meanwhile, Ben Foakes can return to the Test squad for the wicketkeeping role. In November 2018, during the Sri Lanka tour, Foakes made his Test debut. He scored a century (107 runs) on his debutant Test innings at Galle. The 26-year-old has played five Tests where he has scored 332 runs with an average of 41.50.

Jonny Bairstow Can Be Removed From Test Wicketkeeper Role After Poor Batting Performances 1
Ben Foakes (Image Credit: Google)

In the Sri Lanka tour, Foakes finished as the leading run-scorer in the Test series (277 runs in six innings with an average of 69.25). He won the Player of the Series award at the end of that Test series. Later, in January 2019, he scored 55 runs in four innings during the Test series in West Indies tour.

Ben Foakes, Virender Sehwag
Ben Foakes. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
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England vs Ireland, Only ODI: Watch- Ben Foakes Affects a Sensational Yet Controversial Stumping

English wicket-keeper Ben Foakes pulled off a rare stumping as England won the one-off ODI against neighbours Ireland by 4 wickets. There is certainly no doubt about the fact that wicket-keepers have to be animated all the time and look for something different. The stumping affected by Ben Foakes was no different.

As Joe Denly delivered the ball outside the leg stump, Ireland batter Andrew Balbirnie attempted a sweep shot and missed it altogether. The wide was signalled by the on-field umpire. As Balbirnie missed the delivery, his feet were well rooted in the crease. However just as he went to get up after his stretch, Ben Foakes whipped off the bails to send back Andrew Balbirnie back to the pavilion.

Meanwhile, Ben Foakes made it to the English squad in the absence of Alex Hales who has been banned for recreational drug use for the 2nd time in his career. He has also been removed from the World Cup squad. Ben Foakes might be in contention for the spot when the home team tries to win their first coveted title in history.

Ben Foakes, Sam Billings
Ben Foakes receives his maiden call-up.

Foakes who did a terrific job behind the wickets, he justified his selection by scoring a well-deserved half-century. He scored 61 of 76 deliveries to take England towards the victory target. He also shared a brilliant stand of 98 runs for the 7th wicket with Tom Curran who also scored an impressive 47 of 56 deliveries.

After this particular mode of dismissal, people might start criticising the wicket-keeper for violating the spirit of the game. Despite just like Ravichandran Ashwin’s Mankading case, the ICC gave a green signal and stated that Ben Foakes was well within his rights to affect the stumping in that particular manner.

As per the law of MCC 20.6.1.2, “unless No ball or Wide ball has been called, it will be a valid ball if the striker has had an opportunity to play it, except in the circumstances of 20.4.2.6 and Laws 24.4 (Player returning without permission), 28.2 (Fielding the ball), 41.4 (Deliberate attempt to distract striker) and 41.5 (Deliberate distraction, deception or obstruction of batsman).”

Ben Foakes, Sam Billings
Ben Foakes receives his maiden call-up.
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Ben Foakes Replaces Injured Sam Billings in England’s ODI and T20I Squad

England’s wicketkeeper-batsman Ben Foakes has replaced injured Sam Billings in England ODI and T20I squad for the series against Pakistan. Sam Billings had dislocated his shoulder while fielding for Kent in the Royal London One-Day cup against Glamorgan. In fact, Billings was treated with oxygen before he left the ground.

On the other hand, this is the maiden call-up in the white ball format for Surrey wicket-keeper batsman Ben Foakes. As Jonny Bairstow and Jos Buttler have been rested for the first two matches, Ben Foakes is in line to make his debut in both ODI and T20I formats.

Sam Billings
(Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Foakes is in good form.

Meanwhile, Ben Foakes has already impressed in the red ball version. He had made his Test debut against Sri Lanka at Galle in 2018. Furthermore, he has thus far scored 332 runs at an average of 41.5 in the five Test matches he has played.

Consequently, he would like to impress in England colours. In fact, Foakes is in good form with the bat as he recently scored three consecutive fifties for Surrey in the One Day Cup. Thus, would like to carry on the same form for the national side.

India A vs England Lions 2019, Sam Billings,
Photo Credit: Getty Images.

On the other hand, England has already named their World Cup squad. One of the big talking points from their squad was that ECB selectors decided not to include Jofra Archer in their squad. However, the Jamaican all-rounder will have his opportunity to prove his mettle in the series against Pakistan.

England will take on Pakistan on one-off T20I and five One Day Internationals. The only T20I will take place at Sophia Gardens on 5th May whereas the first ODI will be played on 8th May at the Oval. The fifth ODI between the two teams will be played on 19th May.

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