England fast bowler Stuart Broad said that James Anderson was “distraught” and apologised to his team-mates, after pulling up with a calf strain on the opening day of the 2019 Ashes series.
England bowled Australia out for 284 on day one of the Edgbaston Test on Thursday, August 1, with Broad taking 5-86 and Chris Woakes, who bowled first change, snaring 3-58. However, Anderson, England’s highest wicket-taker of all time, walked off after only four overs.
While the rest of England’s attack regrouped quickly to reduce Australia to 122-8, they were then put to the sword by Steve Smith, who combined with the tail to bring up a glorious century and more than double the total. Anderson’s presence and penetration was missed as England struggled to wrap up the innings.
According to the team management, Anderson experienced a recurrence of tightness in his right calf, which he had torn while playing for Lancashire last month, before being cleared for the first Test. Results of his scan, which should clarify if he can bowl again in this match, are now being awaited.
“He’s down and he’s frustrated,” Broad said about his new-ball partner. “He came and said sorry to the bowlers. Not that he has anything to be sorry for. But he’s distraught he couldn’t be out there today.
"His average speed during his first six overs was 138.92kph, quicker than he’s been with the new ball in a home Test since 2014."@patnoonecricket of @CricViz on Stuart Broad's opening spell on day one of the Edgbaston #Ashes Test. https://t.co/R7m4eaZay2
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) August 1, 2019
“He’s a bit down in the dumps, as you’d expect. He feels like he’s let the bowling group down, which of course he hasn’t. Because niggles are a part of fast bowling.”
If Anderson, 37, is ruled out, Jofra Archer is likely first in line to take his place for the next Test, starting August 14. Archer himself is recovering from an injury he picked up during the World Cup, and has been asked to prove his fitness by playing in a T20 Blast game for Sussex on Friday and a three-day Second XI game next week.
Sam Curran and Olly Stone are the other fast-bowling options in the squad.