James Anderson’s troublesome right calf has ruled him out of the remainder of the Ashes as England drafted Somerset seamer Craig Overton into a 13-man squad for the fourth Ashes Test.
The injury has plagued Anderson for a number of weeks, with England’s record wicket-taker feeling pain in the area as he sought to prove his fitness in a Lancashire Second XI fixture earlier this week.
Anderson will therefore miss out at his home ground of Old Trafford for the Test which gets under way on September 4, with Overton added to the 12 that was named ahead of last week’s dramatic one-wicket victory at Headingley.
There has been some scrutiny on Jason Roy, whose paltry average from seven innings as a Test opener stands at 8.85, but he has been retained, meaning Surrey team-mate Ollie Pope – tipped for a recall – misses out.
Anderson suffered an initial injury to his calf during a County Championship fixture against Durham in June, placing his involvement in the first Test in some doubt.
While he managed to take to the field, another injury to the same area restricted him to four overs on the opening morning at Edgbaston and precluded his involvement for the second and third Tests.
He stepped up his recovery by bowling 20 overs on Tuesday while representing Lancashire in a second-string fixture against Durham at Chester Boughton Hall and sent down a further nine on Thursday.
But it was at the conclusion of his nine-over spell where he became aware of more pain to his calf, and after consultation with the England medical team, he was made unavailable for the rest of the Ashes.
At 37 years of age, the future is uncertain for Anderson. With England’s pace bowling looking well stocked with the rise of a young Jofra Archer and stellar performances of Chris Woakes and Ben Stokes, the Three Lions don’t seem desperate to have the highest Test wicket taking seamer back.
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