James Anderson, England’s all-time leading wicket-taker, will miss the fourth Test against Australia and possibly the rest of the Ashes series after suffering a side injury at Edgbaston on Thursday.
Anderson left the field three balls into his ninth over in Australia’s second innings of the third Test at Edgbaston with a side strain.
The fast bowler was assessed overnight and ruled out of the next match. He will be tested again ahead of the fifth Test.
Anderson’s absence on Thursday did not harm England unduly, with recalled fast bowler Steven Finn taking five for 45 as Australia closed on 168 for seven – a lead of just 23 runs with three days left in the match.
England are still in pole position to go 2-1 up in the five-match series, even if Anderson doesn’t bowl again in this match.
FINN ON TOP OF THE WORLD
England fast bowler Steven Finn said it felt ‘fantastic’ to be back among the wickets in Test cricket after taking England to the verge of an Ashes victory at Edgbaston on Thursday.
The Middlesex paceman had been in the wilderness, so far as Test duty had been concerned, after being dropped following an off-target spell in the 2013 Ashes series opener at Trent Bridge.
That was arguably nothing compared to a wretched time on England’s woeful 2013/14 tour of Australia which saw Finn, struggling with his action and low on confidence, sent home early after then limited overs coach Ashley Giles declared him to be “not selectable”
But, having taken two wickets in Australia’s meagre first innings 136, the 26-year-old Finn bagged five for 45 in 13 hostile overs on Thursday’s second day to leave the visitors in dire straits at 168 for seven in their second innings come stumps – a lead of just 23.
England now have three days in which to seal a win that will put them 2-1 up with two to play in the five-match series.
‘To pull a Test shirt back on has been great fun,’ said Finn, a protégé of former Middlesex and England fast-medium bowler Angus Fraser, now an England selector.
‘There have been dark times along the way, but it makes those good times all the more satisfying. To be sat here and help put the team in this position, it feels pretty darn good to be honest with you.’
Australia opener Chris Rogers, who was Finn’s captain at Middlesex, recalled seeing the 6ft 7in Finn in tears during a county match at Edgbaston last season.
‘Every cricketer goes through ups and downs no matter how high or how low. To come out the other side, it’s a good feeling,’ said Finn.
‘It’s been a while since I played Test cricket so to get a five-for on my game back feels fantastic.’ – AFP