England’s leading wicket-taker James Anderson is set to miss the last Test match against India due to injury, confirmed captain Alastair Cook on Thursday (December 15)
The fifth and final test starts in Chennai on Friday (December 16).
Anderson experienced soreness in his ankles and shoulder during the previous test in Mumbai, prompting England’s selectors to withdraw him from the team, with India’s already holding an unassailable 3-0 lead.
“It’s a bit of everything, his ankle and a bit shoulder soreness, ” said Cook. ” Just general bowling soreness. We are looking after him, I think, and we are trying to make the right call on that.”
Anderson returned from a shoulder injury to play the second test against India, taking four wickets in his team’s defeat at Visakhapatnam. He went wicketless in the subsequent tests in northern Mohali city and Mumbai as India sealed the series with a match to spare.
The decision to mothball Anderson was also a clear indication that his team expect the 34-year-old bowler to play a key role in the next summer.
“I am very confident, he can, ” said Cook.
” It is more about not just about getting through, he can make a big contribution to English cricket over the next couple of years. I think we are going to have to certainly manage him, a bit more than we have managed him in test matches”.
Cook said his star bowler might miss a couple of more test matches as a precaution, adding that the decision on the availability of fellow paceman Stuart Broad, returning from a foot injury, would be taken after Thursday’s practice.
Meanwhile, Cook’s counterpart Virat Kohli aims to make India one of cricket’s all-time best teams.
Under Kohli, India have been unbeaten in the last 17 tests, clocking up series wins in Sri Lanka and West Indies, and thumping South Africa, New Zealand and England at home. Their unassailable 3-0 lead in the ongoing five-test series against England is another indication of their formidable home form but, Kohli refuses to call his team invincible.
“We don’t feel invincible to be honest, ” he said. ” We respect every opposition. We admit every time we are put under pressure. We know that the teams are going to put us under pressure and we appreciate that, we accept that and we try to find a way out of it. I think that’s the key for us and as I said it is a process that should go on for another five-eight years.”
Kohli knows the hard work it takes to reach the pinnacle of the game and is excited by the response from his young team.
“They have become really professional with the way they prepare, with the they work on their fitness, so it makes the job easier with every series and every game that you play because they keep understanding what is required to be match fit. What is required to go the distance for five days and what is required to come back from difficult situation. So this is a bunch which is learning with every situation, with every match that we play and they are very keen to improve their game which makes my job, you know, very easy.”