Chris Woakes says England’s attack can cope despite Jake Ball injury

Jake Ball was bowling round the wicket as he fell to the ground (Anthony Devlin/PA)
Jake Ball was bowling round the wicket as he fell to the ground (Anthony Devlin/PA)

Jake Ball has told team-mates that his sprained ankle is feeling “sore” after it forced him out of England’s attack.

Ball did not return after falling over in his delivery stride in his fourth over, having already taken one Cricket Australia XI wicket on day two of four in England’s pink-ball trial match at the Adelaide Oval.

.@JakeBall has a sprained right ankle. He won't play any further part today and will be assessed today and overnight.#Ashes

— England Cricket (@englandcricket) November 9, 2017

After the tourists finished on five for none in their second innings under lights, 65 runs to the good overall following CA’s declaration on 233 for nine, Ball’s fellow seamer Chris Woakes reported England are unsure as yet how bad the injury is.

Woakes said: “He didn’t really know the extent of it, but just said it was quite sore. He said that it went underneath him.”

Ball’s injury to his right ankle comes just two days after another seamer, Steven Finn, had to fly home from the Ashes for a possible operation on torn cartilage in his left knee.

Announcement: Steven Finn out of the #Ashes➡️

— England Cricket (@englandcricket) November 7, 2017

Woakes admits Finn’s absence for the entire campaign is a “big loss”, but insists England will be able to cope with the attack – led by James Anderson and Stuart Broad – which is left behind.

“I don’t think it’s a concern,” he said. “We’ve got a good unit in the dressing-room who are willing to put in the hard yards.

“I think we can all cause some problems out here with what we’ve got.”

STUMPS: We close on 5/0 at the end of Day 2 and lead CA XI by 65 runs #Ashes

— England Cricket (@englandcricket) November 9, 2017

Ball had been quickly into his stride on tour so far, in the first warm-up match in Perth and here.

Woakes added: “He’s been bowling nicely on this trip so far, so when you see a fellow fast bowler go off the field – particularly the way he did it, falling under himself – it’s quite frustrating for him and us as a team.

“It’s never nice to see one of the fast guys go off injured … particularly mid-game, and losing Finny to go home is really sad for him, with such a big series coming up.

“That’s unfortunate, and he’s obviously a big loss, an international bowler with a lot of experience for us. But we have to deal with it … and you obviously have to step up as a bowler.”

A post shared by CHRIS WOAKES (@chriswoakes) on Sep 3, 2017 at 4:16am PDT

Woakes, whose home summer was interrupted by a side injury, shaped well for his two wickets.

“It’s the first experience for me with the pink ball in a game situation,” he said.

“It’s exciting cricket, a bit different. (Day-nighters) always seem to bring up good games of cricket, so I’m all for it.”

Good to see @Colly622 with his England whites back on as sub fielder! #Ashes

— England Cricket (@englandcricket) November 9, 2017

England’s currently depleted resources, meanwhile, were illustrated when 41-year-old fielding coach Paul Collingwood was pressed into substitute duties for an over in the middle session.

“I wasn’t surprised (he came on),” said Woakes. “Someone on the commentary said it was Mase’s (leg-spinner Mason Crane’s) dad on the field.

“(But) the fact he’s still fit as a fiddle, still playing back home, I’m sure he could take any of us on in a fitness challenge as well.”

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