England’s top-order batsman Zak Crawley has been ruled out of the first two Tests against India after sustaining a freak wrist injury on Thursday (February 3).
Crawley, who turned 23 on Wednesday, had slipped on the marble flooring at the Chepauk Stadium in Chennai ahead of a training session.
Joe Root, England’s captain, has described Crawley’s injury as a “real freak incident”, and added that steps had been taken to prevent further such accidents in the course of England’s stay in the sub-continent.
“It’s really frustrating, for Zak in particular,” Root said.
“A real freak incident, and hard for him to take, especially off the back of trying to get as best prepared as possible for the series. And, of course, it means that we have to look at things from a selection point of view.
“We initially tried to put some towels down. And since then they’ve put something a bit more substantial down for us.
“We know we’ve got to be careful, but it’s not something you first think about when you turn up to ground, trying not to slip over. It’s a real freak accident and hopefully, that’ll be the last of it, and no one else can do the same thing,” Root added.
Ollie Pope could replace Crawley in the playing XI after recovering from his shoulder injury.
Dan Lawrence, who made his Test debut batting at five in Sri Lanka, is also in contention.
According to English media reports, England team management might think of sending Ben Stokes to bat at No. 3 while including an extra all-rounder in Moeen Ali or Chris Woakes at number 7. Jos Buttler will retain his wicketkeeping duties in the first Test before going for a break.
England squad for first two-Tests:
Joe Root (c), Daniel Lawrence, Dominic Sibley, Moeen Ali, Ben Stokes (vc), Chris Woakes, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler (wicketkeeper), Ben Foakes, Jofra Archer, James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Dom Bess, Jack Leach, Olly Stones, Ollie Pope.