Former England captain Nasser Hussain believes that Ben Stokes ' return to the side will pave the way for Jack Leach to play during the Ashes this winter.
After a stellar tour of the subcontinent, which saw Leach claim 28 wickets in six Tests against Sri Lanka and India, the spinner has not played for England since.
A major reason for that has been the absence of Stokes, who has also not played a Test for England since their tour of the subcontinent.
Stokes missed the series against New Zealand due to a finger injury and then pulled out of the India series to take a break from the sport in order to manage his mental health and continued recovery from the finger problem.
In Stokes' absence, England have struggled to balance their side, ultimately recalling Moeen Ali during the India series because of his all-round ability.
Now, after it was announced that Stokes will be on the plane to Australia, Hussain believes his presence in the side will see England play Leach.
In his column for the Daily Mail, Hussain said Leach will "likely have an enormous smile on his face at this news".
"Without Stokes it is so hard for England to balance the side and include a spinner," Hussain wrote. "They would have gone with six batters, a keeper at seven and four bowlers and I don't think one of them would have been a spinner in the bulk of the Tests.
"Now, Stokes can bat at six and be the fifth bowler with Buttler at seven and then four more bowlers.
"It doesn't mean Leach will always play because sometimes England have gone with five seamers but it has to increase his chances.
"The hope now is that Stokes is refreshed and ready to go because the last few years of extreme ups and downs had clearly taken their toll on him.
"And the whole of cricket will be the better for his return."
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