England pace spearhead James Anderson has been ruled out of the Lord’s Test against Australia which starts on August 14, after having suffered calf trouble in the first match at Edgbaston. Anderson left the field on day one after sending down four overs and he did not bowl again in the match although he did bat – with obvious discomfort – in both England’s innings.
Anderson has since had an MRI scan, which confirmed an injury which needs addressing. He will now undergo rehabilitation, working with the medical teams of England and his county Lancashire.
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Anderson’s problems were with the same muscle that he had torn while bowling for Lancashire in the County Championship in early July. He had passed a number of fitness tests in the lead-up to the Edgbaston game, but then found tightness in his calf during the match and went off. His absence was felt by England, who went down by 251 runs to Australia, despite having them at 122 for 8 in their first innings.
After Lord’s, there are three more Tests to be played in the Ashes. England will hope he will be fit in time for the Leeds Test, which begins on August 22, although a more realistic return might be for the fourth Test, at Old Trafford in early September. He will be assessed on an ongoing basis for the same.
Jofra Archer is the leading contender to replace Anderson, although he has had injury issues himself and will play a three-day 2nd XI game for Sussex this week to try and prove his fitness after carrying a side injury through the World Cup.
Speaking after defeat at Edgbaston, Joe Root described Anderson’s injury as a “freak thing” and defended his inclusion in the XI. “It was a group decision in terms of the selection of him,” Root said. “He passed all the fitness tests. and it’s just one of those freak things that can happen in in cricket. It’s disappointing, but we’ve got to try and respond to that and make sure that we get things exactly how we want them at Lord’s.”