Ben Stokes knee injury leaves England with nervous wait


Star allrounder will be assessed overnight after hurting his knee while fielding

Ben Stokes will be assessed overnight by England’s medical staff after picking up an injury on a chastening second day at the Gabba.
Stokes appeared to suffer the injury to his knee when he chased a ball to the boundary in the 29th over and was clearly struggling for the rest of the day. He had bowled three overs in his first spell, which included the David Warner wicket off a no-ball, and another two before lunch but only sent down four more in the day.
Ollie Robinson, who had an excellent day with three wickets including two in two balls to claim Warner and Cameron Green, also left the field during the final session and did not take the second new ball but England bowling coach Jon Lewis said he wasn’t injured.

“Obviously Ben has hurt himself on the field today so didn’t bowl full pace at the back end of the day,” Lewis said. “Think our medical guys will assess him overnight and see how he is. Other than that the guys are okay.”

Both teams had their build-up disrupted by poor weather but whereas Australia only had to spend 50 overs in the field on the opening day, the effects on England’s bowlers were clear during the final session.

“Our preparation probably played a part in the last session, but it is what it is, similar for both sides,” Lewis said. “I know the guys will front up again tomorrow, there’s a lot of character, I know they’ve been in some pretty sticky situations before and they’ve come through it all right. I know the guys will dust themselves down tonight.”

By the end of the day Joe Root was left with few options, his problems compounded by left-arm spinner Jack Leach being taken at nearly nine-an-over in what was a clear game plan by the Australia batters to put him under pressure. He picked up the wicket of Marnus Labuschagne but could never control the scoring rate and was taken for five sixes.

“It wouldn’t be one of his better days and he’ll want to put it at the back of his memory, but like I said about the other guys I know Jack is a pretty resilient fella,” Lewis said. “We’re definitely not defeated yet. Expect Jack to come back strong tomorrow and show the character I know he has.”

Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo

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