England seamer Anderson ruled out of first Test
Right calf strain has ruled out England seamer James Anderson from the first cricket Test against South Africa starting here on Saturday, it was announced on Thursday.
“Scans on Anderson’s right calf on Tuesday confirmed he will miss the series opener in Durban, but England’s leading Test wicket-taker is hoping to be fit for the second Test in Cape Town on January 2,” England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said.
The 33-year-old will do some light fitness work over the coming days, before undergoing a fitness test towards the end of the first Test.
When Anderson missed the final two Ashes Tests because of a side strain, Stuart Broad stepped into his shoes as leader of the attack remarkably well as a haul of 8-15 put England on track to regain the urn.
Head Coach Trevor Bayliss, while acknowledging that losing the spearhead of their attack would be a big blow, is in little doubt Broad will be able to fulfil the role again.
“From Stuart’s point of view we’ve got an obvious replacement as leader of the attack there and I’m sure he would show that he could handle that as he did against Australia in the fourth Test,” said Bayliss.
Anderson absence big blow for England: Amla
South Africa captain Hashim Amla believes England will be considerably weakened by the absence of their pace-bowling talisman Jimmy Anderson, who was ruled out of the Boxing Day test on Thursday due to a calf strain.
“Obviously Jimmy Anderson is a big bowler for them. It’s a big blow for England. He’s been one of the better bowlers in the world for a few years,” Amla said. Amla also played down England’s form in their warm-up matches ahead of the four-test series. England’s top six batsmen have all scored in excess of 50 runs and despite completing a solid innings and 91 run win over a strong South Africa A team on Monday, Amla was not overly impressed.
“Both teams have come from losing previous tours. I think both teams are looking to start a resurgence again. The fact that they beat South Africa A, for me, I wouldn’t place too much emphasis on it. We know that test cricket is the ultimate and you can’t replicate the pressures of test cricket,” he said. Amla’s primary concern is his own team, who are coming off a one-sided series defeat in India last month that raised a number of question marks over their form. South Africa have yet to decide if to choose a specialist spinner for what is expected to be a bouncy surface.