England have suffered a significant blow to their hopes of regaining the Ashes after James Anderson was ruled out of the last two Tests against Australia with a calf injury he sustained in the opening match of the series.
Anderson, his country’s all-time leading wicket-taker, was a notable absentee when England announced the 13-man squad for next week’s fourth Ashes Test at his home ground of Old Trafford.
“James Anderson has been ruled out for the rest of the Ashes series. Whilst bowling the ninth over on Thursday in Lancashire’s second XI four-day friendly against Durham Anderson became aware of right-calf pain following on from 20 overs he bowled on Tuesday. He immediately sought a medical assessment from Lancashire and was withdrawn from the remainder of the game. Further review with the ECB medical team has confirmed he will be unavailable for the remaining two Ashes Tests,” the ECB said in their statement.
Somerset’s Craig Overton comes in as an added option in Anderson’s absence in the only change to the party.
That means right-handed batsman Jason Roy, under pressure at the top of the order, will get another chance to impress.
All-rounder Sam Curran remains the favorite to come in with Chris Woakes a candidate to be rested after the hectic summer with both red and white ball.
The fourth Test begins in Manchester on September 4.
The five-match series is currently leveled at 1-1, after England’s sensational one-wicket win in the third Test at Headingley.
England’s squad for the fourth Ashes Test:
Joe Root (c), Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Joe Denly, Jack Leach, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, Craig Overton, Jason Roy.