England were dealt with a major blow when James Anderson left the field for treatment of a calf injury he sustained earlier last month after having bowled just the four overs on the opening day of the first Ashes Test. While he returned a short while later, he didn’t bowl and had a scan later in the day. If the results reveal any sort of tear to his calf muscle, he is likely to be ruled out for the foreseeable future.
“He’s a bit distraught,” said Stuart Broad on Thursday (August 1) after the end of day’s play. “He came and said sorry to the bowlers. He feels like he’s let the bowling group down, which of course he hasn’t. He’s down and he’s frustrated. Not that he’s got anything to be sorry for, but he’s just – he’s distraught he couldn’t be out there today.”
Anderson had torn his calf muscle while he was playing for Lancashire against Durham on July 2. He was sidelined for a few weeks subsequently, but the management was confident of him having recovered ahead of the first Test. If Anderson’s scans reveal any injury of a similar nature, he is likely to be ruled out for majority of the Ashes series.
“I don’t know the next step with it. It (the scans) could show not much and he’ll bowl in the second innings or it could show something and it might be a couple of weeks. Until we get the scan results back, I don’t suppose there’s too much to say other than he’s a bit down in the dumps as you’d expect.”
Anderson was touted to play a big role in England’s endeavour to keep the Australians at bay. Without Anderson, and the ball softening as the game progressed, Australia staged a miraculous recovery on the back of Steven Smith’s sensational century after having been reduced to 122 for 8 at one stage. Smith, along with Peter Siddle and Nathan Lyon gave Australia a fighting chance with 284 on the board before they were bowled out.
“You don’t want to see people go down and you want to go up against the best,” Smith said after his knock of 144. “Fortunately for England they’ve got someone like Ben Stokes who’s able to come in and bowl his overs. He did a pretty good job as well. But it’s always tough. I know as a team when you lose one of your strike bowlers and someone as good as Jimmy, particularly in those conditions so early in the game.
“It’s always hard to manage your bowlers from there, but I thought Joe did a pretty good job of that.”