An already-depleted England could be without both Stuart Broad and James Anderson in a home Test for the first time in nearly a decade when they face India at Lord’s on Thursday.
Broad, 35, has been ruled out of the rest of the five-match series after pulling up with a calf problem ahead of the second Test at Lord’s starting Thursday, which could have marked his 150th appearance in the format.
Meanwhile, the 39-year-old Anderson is struggling to be fit for the second Test with a thigh problem sustained on Wednesday. Broad suffered his injury warming up on Tuesday.
Broad’s 524 wickets make him England’s second-most successful Test bowler behind longtime new-ball partner Anderson, whose 621 are an all-time record for any fast bowler at this level.
Before Broad was ruled out, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced that Saqib Mahmood, uncapped at Test level, had been called up as cover.
Mahmood, who has played seven one-day internationals and nine Twenty20s, now joins Ollie Robinson, Mark Wood, Craig Overton and all-rounder Sam Curran in vying for a place in England’s pace attack.
England has not played a Test without either Anderson or Broad since October 2016 and it is nine years since they both missed one on home soil.
Anderson and Broad’s injuries are bound to leave the ECB facing fresh questions over a domestic fixture schedule which left both bowlers short of match practice, neither of whom now plays in limited-overs matches, heading into a showpiece series in the absence of red-ball county cricket.
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Kepa Arrizabalaga was the unlikely hero as Chelsea started the new season as they ended the last with a European trophy by beating Villarreal 6-5 on penalties after a 1-1 draw to win the UEFA Super Cup in Belfast.
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Source – EWN