Ben Foakes expected to bat after hand X-ray reveals no fracture


England are hopeful that Ben Foakes will be fit to bat in the second innings, after an x-ray on his right hand revealed bruising but no fracture.

Foakes, the England keeper, was hit on the hand while being dismissed by Shannon Gabriel on the first day in Antigua, as he attempted a hook that deflected onto the stumps off his glove and hip.

He was subsequently unable to keep wicket when West Indies started their reply. Ahead of play on day two, the England camp announced he would not be keeping in at least the first session, either. Jonny Bairstow has taken the gloves in his place.

While England are well-placed for reserve keepers – Bairstow had developed into a more than competent keeper before injury gave Foakes an opportunity at the start of the Test series in Sri Lanka – England will be relieved that Foakes’ injury is not more serious. He put on 85 for the seventh wicket with Moeen Ali on day one – easily the highest partnership of the innings – and topped the batting averages in the Test series in Sri Lanka.

His break from the action may, however, have knock-on effects for the final Test of the series. With England struggling to balance their side despite the presence of several all-rounders, Foakes’ absence may provide Bairstow a chance to restake his claim to the wicketkeeper’s role. He has made no secret of his desire to reclaim the gloves and, in Barbados at least, England could have done with playing an extra seamer.

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