In a huge blow for England, seasoned pacer Stuart Broad has been ruled out of the Test series against India with a calf Injury. The 35-year-old sustained a tear to his right calf during the warm-up session on Tuesday.
“Broad underwent an MRI scan in London on Wednesday lunchtime, which revealed a tear,” ECB said in a statement.
Broad along with James Anderson missed Wednesday’s final pre-match practice session ahead of the second Test to be played at the iconic Lord’s Cricket Ground. It is being reported that a thigh injury prevented Anderson taking part in Wednesday’s net session.
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Broad and Anderson are England’s two most successful Test bowlers of all time with a combined 1,145 wickets from 312 matches. They played the first Test against India.
England have not played a Test without either one of the pair since October 2016 and it is nine years since they both missed one on home soil — six months before current captain Joe Root made his Test debut.
The only survivor from that match still left in the England squad is Jonny Bairstow, who told reporters on the eve of the first day: “It would be a big loss, naturally, because they’ve got over a thousand Test wickets between them.”
Anderson and Broad’s injuries are bound to leave the England and Wales Cricket Board facing fresh questions over a domestic fixture schedule which left both bowlers short of match practice heading into a showpiece series in the absence of red-ball county cricket.
Nevertheless, Yorkshire batsman Bairstow added: “I don’t think it’s too much of a destabiliser to be honest.
“I think with the nature of professional sport there is going to be injuries at times, there is going to be illness, it can happen overnight and you’ve got to be adaptable within the group.
“It’s potentially a loss but with that comes an opportunity for other people. When we’ve seen that previously in the summer, in the Pakistan series, there were opportunities that arose for other people coming in and they rose to those challenges.”
Meanwhile, Lancashire pacer Saqib Mahmood has already been added to the England squad as cover for the second Test against India. The 24-year-old has so far played seven ODIs and nine T20Is for England in which he has picked up 21 wickets in total. In his 22 first-class games, he 65 wickets to his name.
(With Agency Inputs)
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