ANOTHER injury scare left England’s resources stretched in their pink-ball trial match yesterday after Jake Ball sprained his right ankle as he fell over in his delivery stride against a Cricket Australia XI (CA) at the Adelaide Oval.
Ball was bowling round the wicket as he lost his footing, and was unable to resume, in his fourth over — walking gingerly off the pitch for further treatment from physio Craig de Weymarn.
He did not return on day two of four, which ended with the tourists five for none in their second innings after CA declared 60 adrift on 233 for nine thanks to a substantial recovery from 57 for five engineered by Tim Paine (52), Matt Short and then Simon Milenko (50).
There was even a cameo entrance as a sub fielder from England’s fielding coach Paul Collingwood, a one-over interlude only but symptomatic of a nascent tour in which some best-laid plans have faltered already.
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.
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.”