Ben Stokes hurts his side on day two leaving England to hope for the best
England were hoping for the best but fearing the worst after Ben Stokes hurt his side on day two of the fourth Ashes Test in Sydney.
Stokes was in the middle of an extended barrage of bouncers in the morning session when he pulled up in his follow-through, clasped his side and left seeking treatment before his over was complete.
A battle-hardened warrior like Stokes only shows pain when he absolutely has to and, although he was able to return in the afternoon to field at slip, he was not considered as a bowling option for the remainder of the day.
Side injuries are among the most troublesome injuries that fast bowlers can sustain, impeding their action and range of movement long after the initial prognosis, and it is not inconceivable that he has bowled his last ball of the series.
If that is the case, England would face a struggle balancing their team in the absence of their only true all-rounder.
Team-mate Stuart Broad admitted there was some concern in the dressing room, but insisted Stokes would at least fulfil his batting duties unless physically unable to do so.
“He’s one of the toughest blokes I’ve ever met, the toughest cricketer I’ve ever met, so for him to go off and not bowl…it’s obviously sore,” he said.
“He’s icing it at the moment and we’ve no information on what’s happened in his side. Hopefully we give him a lot of rest tomorrow because 12-24 hours in cricket is quite a long time. It gives the body a lot of time to heal.
“He stayed on the field so he could bat in his usual position. He’ll be out there if it’s not torn to shreds. We as England fans and team-mates hope it’s not as bad as him not bowling again on this trip.”
Olly Stone hopes to play a role in an England pace trio during this year’s Ashes
Stone hopes to play a role this summer along with Jofra Archer and Mark Wood.
Olly Stone ready for whatever role is required to make England World Cup squad
‘Any way in the England team, I’ll snap someone’s hand off,’ said Stone.
Dane van Niekerk ‘absolutely broken’ to miss World Cup over fitness standards
The South Africa captain was unable to complete a two-kilometre run in the minimum required time.
Run of defeats has not damaged England’s confidence, insists Moeen Ali
The all-rounder is confident England will be in good shape for the defence of their World Cup crown.
Lancashire sign New Zealand pair Daryl Mitchell and Colin de Grandhomme
The all-rounders will be available to play in the LV= Insurance County Championship and Vitality T20 Blast throughout the season.
Jos Buttler admits he needs to find his rhythm as England lose to South Africa
The hosts won the second ODI by five wickets to clinch the series in Bloemfontein.
Temba Bavuma hits hundred as South Africa secure ODI series win over England
The Proteas chased down 343 at Bloemfontein to go 2-0 up in the three-match series.
Jos Buttler and Harry Brook give England hope of levelling ODI series
England reached 342 for seven against South Africa, with Buttler making 94 and Brook 80.
Jason Roy was never ready to ‘roll over’ despite year of setbacks and low points
Roy has for so long been England’s pacesetter at the top of the order but lost his place in the side.
England batter Jason Roy emotional after return to form in South Africa defeat
Roy’s slump with the bat led to him being dropped ahead of England’s T20 World Cup-winning campaign last year.