Josh Tongue ruled out until summer after suffering fresh injury setback

Josh Tongue bowling for England against Ireland last summer/Josh Tongue ruled out until summer after suffering fresh injury setback
Josh Tongue caught the eye in his two Test appearances for England last summer - Getty Images/Alex Davidson

Centrally-contracted quick Josh Tongue appears unlikely to play again until the English summer having been ruled out of the tour of India with a pectoral injury.

Having seen specialists late last week, Tongue is set to undergo a minor operation on the injury, which denied him an ODI debut in the Caribbean this month, and has now ruled him out of a trip to India with either the full squad or England Lions.

Tongue impressed in his two Tests last summer and his performance for the Lions in Galle earlier in 2023 raised hopes among England’s management that he could be effective in India. He will have to wait, however, until the new season to play again with Nottinghamshire, where he has moved from Worcestershire.

Tongue has suffered dreadful misfortune with injuries, notably to his shoulder, which just two years ago threatened his career. It is understood that this injury is entirely new and not linked to previous issues.

England selected just four seamers – including the uncapped Gus Atkinson – on the Test tour of India, but could supplement that with call-ups from the second-string Lions, who have Brydon Carse, Matt Potts, Matt Fisher and Surrey’s Tom Lawes in their ranks. Also included are capped openers Alex Lees and Keaton Jennings, while Lancashire’s Josh Bohannon captains the group.

The squad sees a mix of young and experienced players, but England have also allowed some of those on the fringes of the Test squad, such as Dan Lawrence and Will Jacks, to play franchise T20 cricket.

The Lions will play four red-ball matches against India A, three of them first-class at the epic Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. Those who perform well may find themselves added to the squad for the five-Test series, which begins on January 25 in Hyderabad.