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India vs England 2020-21 – Zak Crawley out of first two Tests against India with wrist sprain



Batsmen suffered mishap during training session on 23rd birthday

Zak Crawley has been ruled out of first two Tests against India with a wrist sprain.*

Crawley, who was expected to bat at No. 3 in the England side, slipped outside the dressing room on Tuesday and, having fallen heavily on his right wrist, was unable to train on Wednesday.

A statement from the ECB on Thursday morning said, “Scan results have confirmed that Crawley has jarred his right wrist, which has sprained the joint and led to local inflammation.

“The Kent player sustained the injury during England’s practice in Chennai on Tuesday when he slipped on the marble floor leaving the dressing rooms onto the field of play.

“The England medical team will continue to assess his progress over the next few weeks.”

Crawley’s unavailability will provoke a significant change of tactics from England. With Jonny Bairstow having returned to England for a period of rest outside the bio-bubble, there is not an ideal candidate for No. 3 within the squad.

While Joe Root has considerable experience of batting at No. 3, he has made no secret of his preference for No. 4 and has recently demonstrated his suitability to the position. Ben Stokes and Dan Lawrence, who looked set to miss out with Ollie Pope returning, would be other options for the position.

It could also be that England utilise the incident to squeeze another allrounder into their side. Both Moeen Ali, who scored two centuries on England’s most recent Test tour of India and has previously batted at No. 3, and Chris Woakes could slot into the side and offer both batting and bowling options.

*07.30am GMT, February 4: The article was updated after results of Crawley’s scans came in

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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