Anderson ruled out of Ashes; Paine backs returning Smith to make difference - GulfToday

Anderson ruled out of Ashes; Paine backs returning Smith to make difference

Anderson ruled out of Ashes; Paine  backs returning Smith to make difference

Steve Smith plays a shot during day two of the three-day friendly match between Derbyshire and Australia in Derby on Friday. Agence France-Presse

london: England star James Anderson has been ruled out of the remainder of the Ashes series with a calf injury, the England and Wales Cricket Board announced Friday.

Anderson, England’s all-time leading wicket-taker, has not bowled in the series since breaking down with the injury after sending down just four overs in Australia’s 251-run win in the first Test at Edgbaston.

There had been hopes the 37-year-old Lancashire paceman would be fit for the fourth Test at his Old Trafford home ground starting on Wednesday.

But after bowling during a second XI match against Durham this week he has been declared unfit for the final two Tests of the series.

“England and Lancashire seamer James Anderson has been ruled out for the rest of the Specsavers Ashes series,” said an ECB statement.

“Whilst bowling in the ninth over on Thursday in Lancashire’s second XI four-day friendly against Durham at Chester Boughton Hall Cricket Club, Anderson became aware of right calf pain following on from 20 overs he had bowled on Tuesday.

“He immediately sought a medical assessment from Lancashire and was withdrawn from the remainder of the game,” the statement added.

“Further review with the ECB medical team has confirmed that he will be unavailable for the remaining two Specsavers Ashes Tests.”

Anderson has taken 575 wickets in 149 Tests at 26.94.

His tally is the most by any quick bowler, with Anderson fourth in the all-time list of leading Test wicket-takers.

England have now added Somerset quick Craig Overton into a 13-man squad for the fourth Test.

Overton is now back in a Test squad for the first time since March 2018 when he played in England’s loss to New Zealand at Eden Park, Auckland.

The 25-year-old will be looking to add to his three Test caps.

In eight County Championship matches this campaign, Overton has taken 32 wickets at an average of 21.34.

The Ashes series is currently locked at 1-1 following England’s dramatic one-wicket win in the third Test at Headingley where all-rounder Ben Stokes’s 135 not out saw them to a stunning win.

Meanwhile, Australia captain Tim Paine believes Steve Smith’s return could be decisive in their quest to retain the Ashes.

Smith missed that match with concussion after being hit by a 92mph bouncer from Jofra Archer in the drawn second Test at Lord’s.

Smith, who made 92 in that innings after retiring hurt, had previously marked his first Test since completing a 12-month ball-tampering ban with superb scores of 144 and 142 in Australia’s 251-run victory in the series opener at Edgbaston.

The 30-year-old is now set to play in next week’s fourth Test at Old Trafford provided he comes through this three-day tour fixture unscathed.

“Without Steve Smith playing I don’t think we were given any chance of winning that Test match, I think most people wrote us off in that Test, so we’re tracking ok,” Paine told reporters after Thursday’s close.

Australia were 77-0 without loss at stumps in reply to Derbyshire’s first-innings 172.

Marcus Harris was 52 not out and stand-in skipper Usman Khawaja, playing against his old county, 18 not out.

Both batsmen have struggled in the Ashes and one could make way for Smith while the other partners David Warner at the top of the order at Old Trafford. “Steve Smith is going to come back in and play. So obviously someone from the last Test is going to miss out,” said Paine, who replaced Smith as Australia captain after the ball-tampering scandal.

“There’s no doubt about that. You have the best player in the world coming back into your line-up.”

Paine insisted Australia had “moved on” from a remarkable reverse at Headingley.

“We had some honest conversations and we now we made some errors as a team and as individuals, but we can’t be holding onto that,” he said.

“We’ve moved on, we’re ready for Manchester, the group’s in a really good spot,” added Paine.

Agence France-Presse

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