CHENNAI, India: England fast bowler James Anderson was ruled out of the fifth and final Test against India with “body soreness” on Thursday, dealing a blow to the tourists’ hopes of a consolation win.
Anderson missed the first game, a draw in Rajkot, with shoulder injury, and he has taken only four wickets in the next three Tests as India stormed to three straight wins to clinch the series.
“Unfortunately Jimmy is ruled out. He picked up body soreness in the last game. So he is not going to be risked in this game,” England skipper Alastair Cook told reporters in Chennai.
Anderson, 34, made news during the fourth Test in Mumbai for his confrontation with Ravichandran Ashwin, the top-ranked Test bowler, after he questioned the batting technique of Indian captain Virat Kohli.
Emotions threatened to boil over when Ashwin approached Anderson as he came out to bat during England’s second innings and then walked with him to the crease, forcing the umpire to intervene.
Anderson is England’s all-time leading Test wicket-taker with 467 scalps in 122 matches, and Cook said he still had a big role to play.
“I am very confident he can make a big contribution to English cricket over the next couple of years. I think we are going to have to manage him a bit more than we have managed him in Test matches,” said Cook.
England have had to deal with injuries to their first-choice bowlers right through the series with Stuart Broad hurting his foot during the second Test in Visakhapatnam.
Broad is now racing against time to get fit for the final game in Chennai, where preparations were hit by the widespread damage caused by Cyclone Vardah on Monday.
“Obviously we will make a decision on Broady after this training session,” said Cook.
“Of course we can’t do a huge amount in terms of net stuff. But we do some fielding and run around to get ourselves going.”
Chris Woakes, Ben Stokes and Jake Ball are the other pace bowlers in the touring side.
The ground staff at the MA Chidambaram Stadium have been working overtime to ensure the pitch and the outfield are ready for Friday’s start.—AFP