England pace bowler Jake Ball is set to be fit for the opening Ashes Test match after coach Trevor Bayliss gave an update on the 26-year-old, as per report from NDTV Sports.
The Nottinghamshire man sprained his ankle last week in the warm-up victory over Cricket Australia XI. It was feared that he would miss a large period of the Ashes series with England’s pace attack looking already very inexperienced.
He is not expected to feature in England’s final warm-up match in Townsville, which commences on Wednesday, but Bayliss expects the 26-year-old to be under consideration for selection for the opening test match.
Bayliss admitted that in seven to 10 days, Ball should be fit and it will be a decision between Craig Overton and Ball as to who makes the 11 for the first match.
There could be a possibility he would be right for the next game but we will probably let him go there and make sure he is right for selection for the first Test. At least he will be available for the first Test. Whether we pick him or not, we have got to make that decision once we get closer.
He should be right in that 7-10 day time frame, he’s fairly confident.
It seems that there is going to be a straight fight between Overton and Ball on who will play the first Test match as an all-rounder. Chris Woakes and opening bowlers James Anderson and Stuart Broad are all nailed on to play the first match of the series.
Overton certainly impressed the coaching staff during the four-day game against the Cricket Australia XI.
It’s the first time I have seen him up close over a number of overs. He is not necessarily quick but he bowls a heavy ball and good lengths. He is consistent with that length, which you need at the top level.
Overton pressed his claim with 3-15 in the last warm-up match but Ball has played for the test match side before so this could help him when the coaching staff select their team.