Foakes suffers stiff back to leave England with potential dilemma


ngland were without wicketkeeper Ben Foakes in the field on the third day of the final Test against New Zealand due to a stiff back.

Having been dismissed for 360, a lead of 31, on the third morning, Foakes did not join England in the field due to the injury concern.

After lunch, Foakes returned to the team hotel in Leeds city centre, and will be assessed ahead of the fourth day’s play.

Centurion Jonny Bairstow took over behind the stumps and took the catch that dismissed Tom Latham for 76.

England are likely to be cautious with Foakes, who missed a County Championship game with Surrey earlier this season with a similar problem.

England face India in a Test at Edgbaston next Friday. Were Foakes’ issue to persist, Bairstow could keep and Harry Brook, an unused member of the squad, could come into the middle order.

However, England may be wary of unsettling Bairstow with another new role when he is in such fine form at No5. He has scored successive centuries for the first time in his Test career, and has four in the format in seven matches this year.

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