Stokes was declared a doubtful starter after suffering from a tight hamstring on Wednesday. Uncapped teenage Surrey pacer Sam Curran has been called up as cover for Stokes. If Stokes is unfit, all-rounder Chris Woakes is likely to come into the side.
On Friday morning, Stokes batted in the nets and will be assessed further before a decision is made over his match-fitness.
A good sign for England? He’s batted in the nets this morning but will Ben Stokes be passed fit to play at Headingley?— Sky Sports Cricket (@SkyCricket) June 1, 2018
Watch the second #ENGvPAK Test from 10am on Sky Sports Cricket & Main Event. pic.twitter.com/g74vxpdh1o
Meanwhile, Pakistan are set to hand Usman Salahuddin his Test debut, rather than fellow uncapped batsman Fakhar Zaman who scored a match-winning hundred against India in last year’s Champions Trophy final at The Oval.
But Sarfraz said: “It wasn’t close…we’ve seen Usman as a better option. Usman has been with us for the last three tours. He’s worked very hard and he’s been doing well.”
England: Alastair Cook, Keaton Jennings, Joe Root (c), Dawid Malan, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Ben Stokes/Chris Woakes, Jos Buttler, Mark Wood, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, James Anderson
Pakistan: Azhar Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Haris Sohail, Asad Shafiq, Usman Salahuddin, Sarfraz Ahmed (c & wk), Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Amir, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Abbas
All-rounder Stokes suffered a tight hamstring during fielding practice on Wednesday at Headingley and was limited to shuttle runs with the team physio on Thursday, despite reporting a slight improvement in the injury.
Stokes will undergo a scan to try to assess the extent of the injury and is likely to face a late fitness test before England name their side on Friday. Uncapped Surrey seamer Sam Curran, 19, has been called up as cover.
“Of course if Ben’s fit we want him in the side, he’s one of our best players, he brings a lot to the table and offers so much to this team,” Root told Sky Sports News.
Pakistan won the first Test by nine wickets at Lord’s last week and Root believes a quick return to action will benefit his side.
“I think it helps us getting straight back into it, not having too much time to think about things,” Root said.
“It was very clear where we needed to improve from last week. We’ve had some good preparation, the guys have really worked hard and now it’s just doing it, going out and proving a point, putting a really strong performance in as a group and showing some pride in the badge.”
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) May 31, 2018
Lancashire opener Keaton Jennings returns to the side to partner Alastair Cook at the top of the order and Root added: “He will be desperate to take his opportunity. Every player in this side wants to make an impact this week.
“Every time we play a Test match there are all sorts of different pressures that come with it and for Keaton it’s a great opportunity. I hope he looks at it that way and goes out and expresses himself in his own way.”
Asked if he was feeling the pressure of arresting England’s poor run of form, Root said: “When you are winning and performing well you have to keep churning out those performances and when you’re on the other side of it you’ve got to make sure you turn it round.
“As always I’ve gone into practice, felt if there were any areas I wanted to work on and got them done so I can go in full of confidence tomorrow and know I’ve given myself the best chance. It’s nice to have that feeling going into any game.”
England have called Surrey all-rounder Sam Curran into the squad for the second Test against Pakistan following an Injury to Ben Stokes.
Here, Press Association Sport takes a look at five things you may not have known about the promising 19-year-old.
CRICKET RUNS IN THE FAMILY
Curran is the younger brother of 23-year-old Tom Curran, who has represented England in all three formats of the game including two Ashes Tests over the winter and the son of former Zimbabwe all-rounder Kevin Curran, who played 11 one-day internationals in the 1980’s and forged a stellar career in county cricket with Northamptonshire and Gloucestershire. They have another brother Ben, 21, who also plays the game and has played for Northamptonshire second XI this summer.
CHILDHOOD IN ZIMBABWE
He spent his childhood in Zimbabwe but that was interrupted when they were evicted from the family farm in Rusape by Robert Mugabe’s regime in 2004. Eight years later, Tom was spotted by Surrey playing in a tournament in South Africa and they found a place for him at Wellington College in Berkshire. His father Kevin died of a heart attack shortly after but Tom, Sam and their other brother Ben were offered scholarship terms by the college and they moved to England with their mother in December.
TALENT SPOTTED AT A VERY YOUNG AGE
He made his debut for Surrey in the NatWest t20 Blast against Kent in June 2015 when he was only 17 years and 16 days old, making a modest impact going for 20 runs off two overs and being dismissed for just six. Made his first-class debut a month later against the same opposition, where he opened the bowling alongside his brother and returned first-innings figures of five for 101 and claimed eight wickets in the match.
At the age of 17 years and 40 days, he was the second-youngest player to play first-class cricket for Surrey, just 32 days younger than Tony Lock, who made his debut 69 years to the day earlier against the same opposition.
Alongside his brother Tom in September 2015, they became the first pair of brothers to take all 10 wickets in a County Championship innings since 1950 when Sam claimed three for 46 and Tom seven for 35 to dismiss Northamptonshire, the county their father played for, for 110. The rain-interrupted match ended in a draw.