Ben Stokes may lose last tests against Pakistan due to fitness lack
Ben Stokes is losing his battle to play Test cricket again this summer with England pessimistic about his chances of making the final two matches.
The all-rounder was due to learn today the length of his recovery time from the calf injury he sustained at Old Trafford on Monday, with doubts about his involvement in the limited-overs matches at the end of the summer.
England was expected to name a 13-man squad today for the third Investec Test at Edgbaston, which starts on August 3. Further details of Ben Stokes injury and his rehabilitation program were likely to be revealed.
Standard Sport understands there are unlikely to be major surprises, with the selectors leaning towards naming the same squad as was chosen for Manchester, minus Stokes.
‘Root is really hard on himself – he wants to be a complete player’
The choice in Birmingham will be whether to replace Stokes with another seamer — probably either Jake Ball or Steven Finn — or to play a second spinner in Adil Rashid.
Jonny Bairstow would bat at No6 while Chris Woakes’s excellent performances with bat and ball should ease the pain of Stokes’s absence.
Ben Stokes damaged his calf after delivering the second ball of his sixth over on the final day of the Old Trafford Test, which England won by 330 runs to level the series at 1-1. He had a scan yesterday and the results were expected in the evening, though the ECB medical team delayed the announcement as they continued their assessment of the damage.