England seam bowler James Anderson has been ruled out of the second Ashes Test.
The 37-year old bowler left the field on the first morning (August 1) of the first Test against Australia at Edgbaston after bowling just four overs due to tightness to his right calf. After two MRI scans, it was revealed the calf – the same one he tore against Durham in a County Championship match for Lancashire on July 2 – has been damaged further. He will now miss the next fixture which starts at Lord’s on Wednesday August 14 and begin his rehabilitation with a view to playing some part in the final three matches.
Without their all-time great fast bowler, England were under-staffed and clueless against twin-centurion Steven Smith and especially the rest of the Australia batting line-up on the fourth day as the tourists set-up a convincing 251-run win to go 1-0 up in the five-match series. Anderson batted in both innings but could only hobble between the wickets.
Anderson’s replacement is likely to be Jofra Archer. The 24-year old was around the squad during the first Test and spent time on the field as a sub-fielder. A side strain meant he was not picked for the match but he did return to competitive cricket after the World Cup final with Sussex Sharks against Surrey (July 26) and Kent (August 2).
However, Archer has not played any first class cricket in 2019. To get him up to speed as quickly as possible, he will play a red ball match for Sussex 2nd XI against Warwickshire, which runs from August 6 to 8.
Olly Stone, who made his Test debut against Ireland and took three for 29 in the first innings, is another candidate to replace Anderson. Surrey’s left-arm allrounder Sam Curran is also expected to be discussed, though there is every chance he may take the place of Joe Denly to give England more options with the ball, especially given how Smith snuffed out every point of attack.