Ashes 2017-18: England's Jake Ball expected to be fit for first Test

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Jake Ball strained his right ankle ligament during day two of the warm-up game against a Cricket Australia XI in Adelaide

England pace bowler Jake Ball is expected to be fit for the first Ashes Test against Australia despite sustaining ankle ligament damage in a warm-up match.

Head coach Trevor Bayliss says he is confident Ball will be fit for the rest of the tour.

The 26-year-old is likely to miss the final warm-up match in Townsville but Bayliss said “he feels pretty good”.

“We want to make sure he is right and available for selection,” Bayliss said.

England were dominant in their penultimate warm-up match against a Cricket Australia XI but Bayliss said “60s were not enough” to win the Tests and he has urged “big hundreds” from his batsmen.

England begin their Ashes defence in Brisbane on 23 November and Bayliss said all-rounder Craig Overton was in contention for a starting place after helping the team complete a 192-run win on Saturday.

“He bowled very well and he’s very consistent,” Bayliss said.

“He moves the ball around a bit which puts pressure on the batter. We’ll have to do a lot of that through the Test series.”

Bayliss said England have got a way to go to reach their best in Brisbane but his team selection will remain as expected.

“It’s pretty much what we were thinking beforehand. There are still one or two positions, whether it’s injury or not, we won’t really know until that final game is concluded,” he said.

One player who will “definitely” play is all-rounder Moeen Ali, who missed the four-day floodlit match because of a side injury.

Bayliss was also quick to play down doubts over skipper Alastair Cook’s form, saying he had looked better each time he had played,

“I’m sure he would have preferred to have scored a few, but a guy with that experience has been through periods [like that] before,” he said.



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