Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Ball Injury Blow Leaves England Stretched in Bowling Department for South Africa Test

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Ball Injury Blow Leaves England Stretched in Bowling Department for South Africa Test

Article excerpt

Byline: Chris Stocks

ENGLAND'S preparations for the Test series against South Africa have been hit by the news that Jake Ball has been ruled out of next week's First Test at Lord's.

The Nottinghamshire fast bowler will be sidelined for around two weeks with a strain to his right knee he sustained on Tuesday during a County Championship match against Kent.

It means Ball will miss the series opener against South Africa, which starts a week today, and is also a doubt for the Second Test at Trent Bridge starting on July 14.

Ball, who has played three Tests, will also miss his county's Royal London One-Day Cup Final against Surrey at Lord's on Saturday.

He joins Chris Woakes on the injury list for Lord's and England's bowling resources could be stretched to the limit if Stuart Broad, another Notts player, is also ruled out with a bruised left heel.

Paul Farbrace, England's assistant coach, said: "You have to accept seam bowlers are going to get injured.

"But there is enough quality around and bowlers with overs under their belt to ensure whatever team we come up with next week we will have a high quality attack."

The news on Broad, whose scans on his injury last week proved inconclusive, does at least appear more positive now after he came through a bowling session in the Trent Bridge nets last night.

England and the player himself remain positive he will be fit for the First Test and an announcement on his availability is expected tomorrow morning before the selectors meet to decide the squad for Lord's.

Coach Trevor Bayliss said: "We will know more in the morning after he has had another bowl.

"If he comes through that he will play for Notts in the one-day final on Saturday, which will act as a test itself for the Test match."

The England selectors, who will announce the squad for Lord's on Sunday morning, will also have some big decisions to make on the make-up of the batting line-up.

Young opener Haseeb Hameed's latest failure for Lancashire makes him all but unselectable despite his fine debut series in India last winter. …

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