The much-celebrated & looked upon series of ‘World Cricket’ the Ashes 2021-2022 has finally reached its end. With the crucial final test of the series being lined up, the England team hopes that their lone warriors Ben Stokes & Jonny Bairstow get fit on time.
Ben Stokes has suffered a “low-grade tear”
England’s players enjoyed a break-off a few days after producing a scintillating performance in the Sydney test to ensure that Australia didn’t sweep the Ashes series with a 4-0 score. The duo of Ben Stokes & Jonny Bairstow was the key to keep England alive in the Sydney test. In the process of guiding England to a glorious win, Ben Stokes suffered a “low-grade tear” while bowling in Australia’s first innings but didn’t give up & put his every strength to register two crucial half-centuries in the fixture.
Jonny Bairstow who had suffered a thumb injury from Pat Cummins during his ton in Sydney also fought hard through immense pain to score a quick 41 in the second innings after being unable to field. Speaking about the availability of Ben Stokes & Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root said that the duo will be assessed during training over the next two days & then a call on their availability will be taken.
“We’ve got to just see where they’re at, see what their bodies can handle, and then assess from there,” Root said in Hobart on Wednesday.
“I think they need to make sure they feel like they’re physically in a place where they can get through five days of hard cricket, whatever Australia throw at them, and they’re in a position where they can go out and play and firstly, get through the game, but also, most importantly put in a performance as they managed to last week as well. It’s alright being fit to play but you’ve got to be fit to perform and I think that’s what we’ve got to work out”, Joe Root added in his statement.
England could witness another change in their top
The three lions squad has already suffered a major blow after Jos Buttler flew home with a broken thumb. Sam Billings has replaced Buttler in the squad & has started training under the guidance of England’s stand-in coach James Folster from Wednesday. England could witness another change in their top order with Haseeb Hameed being replaced by Rory Burns. The decision of replacing Hameed was taken given his average performance as he was able to chip in just 80 runs in the last eight innings.
If Ben Stokes & Jonny Bairstow get ruled out of the fifth test then there are chances of Ollie Pope, Chris Woakes, or Dan Lawrence returning to the team. Pope and Woakes have not played since the Adelaide test while Lawrence has not played at all in the series and has had no experience of playing cricket on Australian soil. However, Joe Root said that his fringe players have to work hard & give their best if the team needs their service.
According to Root, you’re as mentally ready, as you possibly can be
“All you can do when you’re on the fringes is work as hard as you can, and make sure you feel as ready as you can,” Joe Root said. “One thing about this tour and all tours really in these bubble environments, this Covid-19 world that we are currently living in, is there are not always opportunities to go out and play and to have game time.
“But as players, you’ve just got to manage that as best as you can. You’ve got to feel like you’re readying yourself, you’re putting yourself in those situations in practice as best as possible. So when you do get out there, you know, you’re as mentally ready as you possibly can be”, Joe Root signed off.