England’s Jack Leach 50-50 to play in second Test against New Zealand: Ollie Robinson ruled out for three more weeks | Cricket News

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England’s Jack Leach 50-50 to play in second Test against New Zealand: Ollie Robinson ruled out for three more weeks | Cricket News

Ben Stokes appeared to be showing some discomfort in his side during practice on Wednesday; Jack Leach missed virtually all of the first Test after showing symptoms of concussion following a fall while fielding on the boundary;

Last Updated: 08/06/22 10:58pm

England face a selection dilemna for the second Test against New Zealand after Ben Stokes appeared to be struggling to bowl during training - meaning a reshuffle of the bowling attack may be needed.

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England face a selection dilemna for the second Test against New Zealand after Ben Stokes appeared to be struggling to bowl during training – meaning a reshuffle of the bowling attack may be needed.

England face a selection dilemna for the second Test against New Zealand after Ben Stokes appeared to be struggling to bowl during training – meaning a reshuffle of the bowling attack may be needed.

England captain Ben Stokes is a doubt to bowl in the second Test against New Zealand and spinner Jack Leach is rated as 50-50.

Stokes appeared to be experiencing some discomfort in his side during practice and only bowled six to eight balls and was seen in long decisions with the England doctor.

However, the problem did not prevent Stokes, who led England to a five-wicket victory in his first Test as captain, from batting in the nets and he is expected to lead the team out on Friday.

Should Stokes not be able to bowl then England would need to play Craig Overton at the expense of a specialist spinner.

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Jack Leach remains a doubt for the second Test against New Zealand

Jack Leach remains a doubt for the second Test against New Zealand

Leach, was withdrawn just six overs into the first Test at Lord’s due to concussion protocols after he took a heavy fall while fielding on the boundary, with leg-spinner Matt Parkinson drafted in to replace him.

Although Leach has practised ahead of the second Test – which gets under way on Friday, live on Sky Sports Cricket – and his mandatory seven-day rest period ends on Thursday, he remains a doubt for the Trent Bridge clash.

Meanwhile, Ollie Robinson, who missed England’s three-Test series against West Indies in March with a back problem and has since made only three appearances for Sussex, remains unavailable to face the Black Caps.

The 28-year-old has had a cortisone injection in his lower back, but is not expected to be fit in time for the third Test of the series, which begins at Headingley in just over a fortnight’s time.

Ollie Robinson is still out of action with a back problem

Ollie Robinson is still out of action with a back problem

England opener Alex Lees, who is set to win his fifth Test cap, says he will continue to “trust” his technique as he searches for a substantial score at international level.

Left-hander Lees made his Test debut in the West Indies series and displayed solidity at the top of the order, occupying the crease for lengthy spells without accumulating the runs to reflect that.

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His last six innings have yielded scores between 20 and 31 and Lees admitted: “If you’ve been selected as a batsman you always need to show some worth, otherwise you’re not going to keep being selected.

“The bigger picture for me is to be playing in a way I want to play, a way [coach] Brendon [McCullum] and Ben want us to play as a team and buy into that team ethos and identity.

“I believe, if I do that, there’s no reason why over the next couple of games, I shouldn’t get a big score. If I prepare right and do the right things, I’m confident it’ll come good.

England opener Alex Lees is yet to convert any of his starts into a substantial score at Test level

England opener Alex Lees is yet to convert any of his starts into a substantial score at Test level

“You keep getting to 20 as an opener, which is the hardest part, so for me to get there and keep getting out is quite frustrating. But I know if I trust it I should be all right – I think it’s about managing yourself.

“My challenge is to keep playing in that manner and trust that it’ll come good. When I’m out there, I love batting for England and it’s something I want to do for a long period of time.”

Watch day one of the second LV= Insurance Test between England and New Zealand, at Trent Bridge, live on Sky Sports Cricket and Sky Sports Main Event from 10am on Friday.

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