Ahead of the second ODI against India in Pune, England all-rounder Ben Stokes provided an update on the injuries suffered by captain Eoin Morgan and Sam Billings during the first game of the three-match series.
Billings, who batted at number six during the visitors' 66-run defeat on Tuesday, left the field while clutching his shoulder after an attempted dive at the boundary went awry. The 29-year-old has had his share of shoulder issues in the past and looked in pain as he walked off.
However, Ben Stokes said the injury wasn't as bad as they initially thought and the right-handed batsman's condition is being assessed. Speaking at a virtual press conference, Stokes said:
"Very unfortunate injuries to have from a team point of view. On the bright side, when Sam (Billings) first fell over and started holding his shoulder, we sort of held our breaths as he's had shoulder issues in the past. But then thankfully, things weren't as bad as we initially thought, he's obviously continuing to get assessed.
Eoin Morgan's split webbing can be quite annoying: Ben Stokes
Ben Stokes was a little more reserved while about the injury suffered by Eoin Morgan and whether it would keep the captain from participating in the second ODI.
The English skipper required four stitches after splitting the webbing between his right thumb and index finger. Even though he recovered enough to bat and score 22 runs in his team's unsuccessful chase, doubts remain over his availability for the next game.
"The split webbing that Morgs (Eoin Morgan) has got can be quite annoying. I haven't actually spoken to him about it since he has done it, so I'm not too sure where he's at with it. But I'm sure he'll be fine. Thankfully, Sam especially is a lot better than we initially thought," finished Ben Stokes.
If Eoin Morgan fails to recover in time, wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler is expected to take over captaincy duties.
The second ODI between India and England starts at 1:30 PM IST on 26th March, with the visitors needing to win the match in order to keep the series alive.