England announce Ben Stokes’ replacement for India Tests after all-rounder takes indefinite break from cricket

Written by Sumit Seth

England will be without the services of their star all-rounder, Ben Stokes, for the upcoming five-match Test series against India. Stokes, who recently made his return to international cricket, has taken time off for his mental well-being and to heal the finger issue. The 30-year-old had suffered a broken finger in Rajasthan Royals’ first game of IPL 2021 in April.

Stokes played domestic cricket before making his return to international cricket and also played two matches of The Hundred. He looked set to play Test cricket after four months but will spend some time away from the game.

Stokes’ absence comes as a big blow for the home team and they will bank on Chris Woakes to do the job. England have also named Stokes’ replacement and pacer Craig Overton will join the squad. The 27-year-old pacer from Devon, Overton has played 4 Tests and as many ODIs.

He had made his Test debut against Australia in Ashes 2017/18 while his maiden ODI appearance came next year. He has 9 scalps in Test cricket and has dismissed 4 batsmen in ODIs. Overton has a wealthy experience of playing 102 first-class matches. He has 359 wickets in red-ball cricket. He averages 22.08 for his 2871 runs and has also scored a century in domestic cricket. His twin brother, Jamie, has also been part of the national squad. Though he is uncapped.

Barring Stokes, the rest of the players are fit and available for selection. Joe Root will lead the home team, which includes the likes of Zak Crawley, Sam Curran, Jonny Bairstow, Rory Burns, Jos Butler, James Anderson, Sturt Broad to name a few. The five-match Test series kicks off on August 4 in Nottingham. The next four Tests will be played in Lord’s, Leeds, London and Manchester from August 12, 25, September 2 and 10, respectively.

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Sumit Seth