With just one week remaining for much-awaited Ashes 2017-18 tournament to begin, the last thing the England side want is one of their regular players to pick up injuries. The traveling Joe Root-led side almost faced their worst fears on Wednesday with the wicketkeeper-batsman Jonny Bairstow being leaving the field after a ball struck him in the middle finger of his left hand.
On the first day of England’s final tour match against Cricket Australia XI, paceman Chris Woakes’ ball bounced to hit Bairstow on his finger, just after lunch. Bairstow, who clearly looked in discomfort, called for medical help and after a lengthy treatment, left the field to seek medical attention. The 28-year right-handed batsman was replaced on the field with by Ben Foakes.
But to England’s relief, Bairstow soon returned to keep stumps after the medical staff ruled out any major injuries and concluded a minor bruise on fingers. CAB XI ended the day with 249/9 runs on the board, with Woakes being the hero of the day for England. The right-arm fast bowler took 6 wickets, giving away just 54 runs in 18 overs.
With 45 matches under his belt, Bairstow is an experienced campaigner for England. He has scored 3 centuries and 17 half-centuries in 77 in innings at an average of 39.77. He scored his individual test highest score of 167 against Sri Lanka. England will face Australia at Brisbane in the first test of the tournament, starting from November 23.