England has suffered a major blow ahead of their second Test against India, following news that Jofra Archer won’t recover from an elbow injury in time to play.
Archer, who knocked over both India’s openers in the first Test, complained of pain in his right elbow on Thursday and received subsequently received a painkilling injection.
However, the pain has not subsided sufficiently for him to be considered for selection. England has indicated the injury is not serious, explaining that it is not linked to a stress fracture he suffered in the elbow around a year ago.
The press statement read: ‘It is hoped the treatment will allow the condition to settle down quickly, allowing the player to return to action in time for the third Test in Ahmedabad.’
Meanwhile, Joe Root has confirmed four changes to the team that won the first Test against India.
James Anderson is being rested, as is Jos Butler. Ben Foakes will keep wicket, while Stuart Broad will replace Archer. There are widespread reports that Moeen Ali could replace Dom Bess.
‘For us to win out here, it’s going to have to be a real squad effort,’ Root said. ‘Guys are going to have to come in and rotate. They will have to come in and be fresh and deliver when they’re given an opportunity. So there might be a few changes from the previous game.
‘I look at the talent around our squad and every single one of them can play a huge part in delivering something very special over the next couple of weeks. You have to be brave enough to trust those guys that they can win you the game. That is how we are going to grow and become a better team in the long run, with guys pushing for a place all the time.’
Local authorities have given permission for the Chepauk Stadium to be half full. Root said this, combined with India’s drive, lead by Virat Kohli, for revenge, would make their task extremely difficult.
‘I expect Virat to want to come out and for India to respond straight away from ball one of the Test match, whatever it is that the toss dictates,’ Root said. ‘He is a proud guy with an unbelievable record in his own conditions as captain and a batter. He will want to come to the fore in this series sooner rather than later.’
On the return of spectators, Root added: ‘Our guys will be excited about having crowds back. When you come to India they are very passionate about the sport and to get that interaction with fans is going to be brilliant.
‘If anything it will add to the occasion and I’m sure the guys will have some atmosphere to fall back on and work with in the stadium. I’m really looking forward to that side of things. It does not change anything and actually it will be really beneficial for us as a team to have that side of international cricket back again.’