Nottinghamshire Head Coach Peter Moores hopes Jake Ball can still play a key part for England in this winter’s Ashes against Australia – whether or not he makes the first Test at Brisbane.
The Welbeck Wizard is in a race against time to be fit for the eagerly-awaited series opener at the Gabba on 23 November after spraining his ankle in a warm-up game against a Cricket Australia XI in Adelaide.
His county coach, Moores, who has led the national team on two occasions, knows better than most that returns from injury cannot be rushed.
“Being fit to play and ready to play are slightly different, and Jake will want to get himself on the park so that he’s ready.”
But even if seamer Ball is not in contention for the first Test, he believes the Trent Bridge Academy graduate will come back strongly.
“Jake will be in a regime now to get him back fit, with treatment, ice and exercise,” said Moores. “On a tour like that, he’ll be totally into all that.
“Being fit to play and ready to play are slightly different, and he’ll want to get himself on the park so that he’s ready.
“What I do know with Jake, after seeing his development over the last 12 months, is that having been around international cricket for quite a bit now, he is in a better position to make an impact at that level, if and when he gets the chance.”
Ball’s setback has been one of a handful of fitness issues for the England squad with Toby Roland-Jones (stress fracture) ruled out prior to the tour party being picked, Steven Finn (knee) being forced to come home and Moeen Ali (side) missing the Cricket Australia XI match.
Moores is just thankful that it appears to be a scare, rather than anything too serious, for the 26-year-old, who England Coach Trevor Bayliss says ‘feels pretty good’.
“It will be frustrating for him because, from what we’ve heard, he’s been bowling well.”
He added: “It’s difficult to say you’ve been lucky when you’ve got injured, but the fact Jake’s not have to come home from the trip, like Steven Finn, is a positive.
“It will be frustrating for him because, from what we’ve heard, he’s been bowling well. He was in contention for the first Test, and the word is he still is, but how much will this have thrown him out? I don’t know that from over here.
“We just obviously hope that it is something that is not going to restrict Jake for too long and he can get on and, when he gets that opportunity, take it.”
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