England had no answer to a ruthless India and suffered a crushing loss in the second Test by 151 runs. Clearly, England have a lot to rectify before the third Test. As mentioned by several experts, the team looks like a two-man show. With the bat, they are over-reliant on Joe Root while James Anderson has been carrying all the load of the bowling department.
One man that could have been a booster for England in the series was Ben Stokes, but he pulled out of the matches citing mental health issues. With series on the line, many are calling for the inclusion of Ben Stokes in the England team. However, England coach Chris Silverwood has cleared they will not push the English talisman for a comeback until he is ready.
“No, there is no pushing from my point of view,” Silverwood said on Tuesday. “I don’t think you can push with these issues. I will wait and there will be an element of waiting for him to come to me to let me know he is ready.
“There is no time limit on it. I would stress again the important thing is Ben is OK, his family is OK and that he comes back strong and, when he re-enters the frame, he is ready in his mind to come back and perform for England like we know he can.
“I am certainly not pushing him for an answer and I don’t think that would be the right thing to do. There are people around him supporting him and, when he is ready to come back in, we will welcome him with open arms but until then he will get all the support he needs.”
Adding to England woes, Mark Wood, their best bowler after James Anderson, picked up a shoulder injury in the second Test and was seen in searing pain. Wood was all strapped up as he came into bowl on Day 5. Silverwood revealed they are keeping a close eye on Mark Wood but emphasized they won’t risk the fitness of the seamer, especially when Jofra Archer and Olly Stone are out due to injuries.
“The medics are working on Woody. We’ll find out more in the next couple of days,” Silverwood said.
“He is a bowler who can hit 90mph-plus, so I’ve got to look after him, but he will be given every opportunity to be fit for Leeds and obviously we will make a decision, along with him, and our medics closer to the time.”