England attack need to 'step up'

09 November 2017 08:10:32 EST
England paceman Jake Ball has suffered an injury to his right ankle.

Seamer Chris Woakes has challenged his fellow England bowlers to 'step up' to ease the pain of injuries biting at the start of the Ashes tour of Australia.

Jake Ball went over on his right ankle during day two of the four-day match against a Cricket Australia XI in Adelaide, leaving Woakes and co. to fill the gap in the day/night encounter.

It's never nice to see one of the fast guys go off injured.

Chris Woakes

They did so pretty well as the hosts declared on 233-9 in their first innings, before England reached five without loss by the close, leaving them with an overall lead of 65 runs heading into day three.

Woakes and James Anderson both took two wickets, while young leg-spinner Mason Crane ended with figures of 3-78 from 21 overs.

Afterwards, Woakes told Sky Sports: "It's quite frustrating for himself (Ball) and us as a team. It's never nice to see one of the fast guys go off injured.

"We (the bowlers) now have to step up, individually you have to step up, but it is never good to lose a bowler. Losing Finny was sad for him, but we have to deal with it.

"Tom Curran is coming into the squad and we have to rebuild."

An ECB statement on Twitter confirmed that Ball would be assessed overnight to decide on the severity of the injury, it read: "Jake Ball a sprained right ankle. He won't play any further part today and will be assessed today and overnight."

The tourists have already seen Steven Finn head home without featuring in a match after he sustained a serious knee injury, with Surrey seamer Tom Curran called up as his replacement.

Meanwhile, Woakes is 3/1 to be top team bowler in the upcoming Ashes series, with Anderson priced at 7/4 and Stuart Broad available at 12/5.

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