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England to be without injured Ben Stokes in the 3rd Test at Edgbaston

Ben Stokes
England’s Ben Stokes leaves the pitch injured on the fourth day. (Photo by JON SUPER/AFP/Getty Images)

Star England all-rounder Ben Stokes has been ruled out of the third test against Pakistan due to a calf injury. Stokes tore his calf muscle while bowling during the 2nd Test at Old Trafford.

Incidentally, Stokes had made a comeback to the team after missing the first Test at Lord’s. He was on the sidelines earlier after getting ruled out of the previous home series against Sri Lanka.

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However, Stokes recovered well and was duly picked for the 2nd Test. The 25-year-old batted and bowled well. But, he was forced out of the England attack in the afternoon session on day four after he pulled his calf muscle while bowling. He was two balls into his sixth over but was unable to complete his over and limped off the field.

It was later confirmed that he will be undergoing MRI scans to determine the severity of the injury. Unfortunately, it turned out that he has a torn muscle. Meanwhile, the England selectors who sat down on Wednesday to pick the 14 man squad will now have to strike his name out of the list.

Ben Stokes’ absence is a huge blow for England who equalled the four-match series 1-1 after a crushing win over the visitors at Lord’s. They have three options open to fill the all-rounder’s place. Fast bowlers Jake Ball and Steven Finn and Adil Rashid. Jake Ball, who made this debut in the first test can fancy a chance after bowling well enough.

The chances of Finn making the cut in the Playing XI seems bleak owing to his current struggle with his form. Whereas, England, if they intend to go with two spin attack, can go with leg-spinner, Adil Rashid. Edgbaston is known to encourage slow bowlers.

England Squad – 

Alastair Cook (C), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Gary Ballance,  Jake Ball, Stuart Broad, Stev Finn, Alex Hales, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, James Vince, Chris Woakes

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