England Test captain Joe Root expressed concern over veteran fast-bowler James Anderson’s vulnerability to injury ahead of the fifth Test against India.
In the fourth Test, Anderson was seen bowling with a bleeding knee and the 39-year-old has continuously played four Test matches and for the final game, there are very few days for a break.
Anderson bowled 47 overs in the fourth Test and returned with only two wickets, taking his tally to 15 wickets in this series. Anderson’s unavailability for the final Test in Manchester will leave England with a heavy blow but on the other hand, the team management also have to look at his fitness keeping the Ashes in mind.
Root said if Anderson gets injured the team will be left in a difficult situation.
“You have to weigh everything up and take everything into account to make sure physically he (Anderson) is in the right place and feels he can get through it,” Root mentioned after the fourth Test on Monday.
“If he goes down injured, it leaves us in a difficult place for the rest of the game and for the winter. Ultimately, we’ve got to find a way of winning — it’s a delicate balancing act,” he added.
It’s been frustrating, the amount of injuries we’ve had to contend with: Joe Root
England are already missing the services of Stuart Broad, Jofra Archer and Ben Stokes in the Test series against India due to injuries and mental health problems respectively. Even Mark Wood was ruled out after the Lord’s Test after injuring his shoulder.
Root acknowledged the fact that the England camp has been hit with a lot of injuries throughout the summer but they need to ensure the player’s interest is prioritised ahead of anything.
“It’s been frustrating, the amount of injuries we’ve had to contend with. It’s part and parcel of the game and the current climate we’re living in,” Root said.
“We have to make sure we’re doing everything in the interest of the players and give ourselves the best chance of winning at the same time. It’s been a tough summer. It’s been a gruelling schedule, some wonderful cricket and highly intense cricket,” Root added.
It’s going to be really important we bounce back very quickly: Joe Root
England suffered another defeat at Kennington Oval, where they lost to India by 157 runs on the final day after being bowled out for 210 despite being in control in the first session of the day. Root pointed out their comeback in Headingley and aimed to bounce back to share the series.
“It’s going to be really important we bounce back very quickly just like we did a week ago. We will make sure at Old Trafford we have got that bit between our teeth and bounce back,” Root asserted.
The fifth Test will begin on September 10 at Old Trafford in Manchester with India heading in the match with a 2-1 lead.