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Stuart Broad

England's Stuart Broad holds the ball to celebrate taking 500 wickets Martin Rickett/Pool via AP
England's Stuart Broad holds the ball to celebrate taking 500 wickets Martin Rickett/Pool via AP
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Stuart Broad Confirms He Will Be A Part Of The Ashes 2021/22 Tour If Fitness Permits Him

Stuart Broad confirmed that he will be part of the Ashes 2021/22 tour if his fitness permits him to play but added that England’s players still need more details about the Covid-19 restrictions they will undergo in Australia.

It is expected that some multi-format players will withdraw from the trip regardless of the final protocols that are put in place but Stuart Broad, who is a single-format player and could even have an outside chance of captaining the side if Joe Root isn’t available, has committed to being there. The pacer was ruled out of the recently concluded India Test series after playing the first Test when he suffered a calf injury.

Joe Root
Joe Root Photograph: Sri Lanka Cricket

Stuart Broad Would Be Happy To Get On A Plane To Australia In November

England players have expressed serious concerns about the quarantine and bio-bubble protocols being put in place for the team when they tour Australia for the gruelling Ashes series, and there are speculations that some key players might pull out of the tour. Stuart Broad – a veteran of 149 Tests and who has taken a whopping 524 wickets opened up on the matter.

“If you ask me if I would be happy to get on a plane to Australia in November, I would say yes,” Stuart Broad said in his Mail on Sunday column. “I am working tirelessly to get there. I don’t feel there will be a postponement. In my mind, it is 100 percent clear that an England team of some description will embark on the tour.”

“It is now just a couple of weeks away from a squad being selected but players can’t sign up to something unless they know what they are signing up for,” Stuart Broad said

England's Stuart Broad. (Photo by Jon Super / POOL / AFP)
England’s Stuart Broad(Photo by Jon Super / POOL / AFP)

Extensive negotiations are continuing between the two boards- ECB and CA to try and find compromises to maintain quarantine norms and living arrangements during the two-month trip with Australia continuing to battle significant Covid-19 outbreaks in Victoria and New South Wales, although there remains hope that restrictions will be eased by November end.

England’s multi-format players, such as Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow, Mark Wood, Sam Curran, and Chris Woakes wouldn’t be willing to spend up about four months away from their families as they will fly to Australia straight from the UAE, where the T20 World Cup will be held. Some of the players will also participate in the second half of the IPL 2021. There is also a prospect of a postponed Ashes tour. Australia is the defending holders of the Ashes going into the series, having won in 2017–18 with the 2019 Ashes series ending in a draw.

Stuart Broad: ECB Informed Cricketers With Available Minimal Details Of Australia’s Plans For Ashes 2021/22

However, the final conditions of the tour largely rest with what Cricket Australia is able to negotiate with the federal and state governments in Australia. The biggest challenge is finding biosecure plans that allow the tour to move around the country.

“The ECB have tried to keep us as informed as possible with the information that they are getting from Cricket Australia,” Stuart Broad said. “It’s just that minimal detail has been available. I don’t think anyone can say hand on heart that we won’t be living in a bubble out there and that will be extremely challenging.”

The conditions of the initial 14-day quarantine period have been one of the key areas of discussion between the two boards. The England squad may be housed in a resort on the Gold Coast with a greater degree of freedom, although it may be limited to a period of training each day. India was permitted the same last season.

Ashes Urn Photo: cricket.com.au
Ashes Urn Photo: cricket.com.au

Recently the India Women’s squad, and the majority of the women Australia players, had to undergo two weeks hard quarantine in Brisbane ahead of their multi-format series.

“With the situation, Australia is in — with their own citizens struggling to get into the country — I am not thinking we will just be able to fly in with no quarantining, as if we are living a normal life, because the world is not a normal place at the moment,” Stuart Broad said.

“We need to be in a situation where we are allowed to train for between two and three hours a day. An international bowler rarely goes two weeks in a year without bowling,” Stuart Broad said.
While doubts about whether families will be able to travel have receded, there remain concerns about the conditions of their length of the quarantine period. The possibility of reducing the quarantine period for the squad, which will be entirely double vaccinated, had been raised. 14 days quarantine period is the federal government policy norm throughout the pandemic, so it would appear an unlikely concession.

Late last week a glimmer of a solution had emerged when the New South Wales government, who last season helped rescue the India Test tour by providing the necessary quarantine and training facilities, announced a trial program for a reduced seven-day home quarantine program that would begin in late September as part of the plan to open up international borders. However, progress would have to move quickly for it to be an option for the Ashes.

The Ashes between England and Australia is set to commence on December 8 in Brisbane.

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England Pacer James Anderson Hopes Manchester Test Will Be Played Again

England pacer James Anderson on Sunday said he hopes the Manchester Test against India will be played at some point and the fast bowler will get to feature in the game at his home ground.

The fifth Test match between England and India was cancelled in Manchester on Friday. The BCCI and ECB held several rounds of discussion to find a way to play the Test match, however, the outbreak of COVID-19 in the Indian team contingent forced the decision of calling off the game.

James Anderson
James Anderson (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)

England Pacer James Anderson Hopes Manchester Test Will Be Played Again And He Will Play Another Int’l Match At His Home Ground

James Anderson felt gutted for the Lancashire fans but is hopeful of playing another international game at his home ground. Ahead of the fifth and final Test against England, physio Yogesh Parmar tested positive for COVID-19 in Manchester. This had led to Team India’s training session for Thursday afternoon being cancelled.

“It’s such a shame the summer of international cricket ended this way. I’m gutted for everyone at @lancashirecricket, for the fans who paid for tickets/trains/hotels, for both sets of supporters that wanted to see the finish this series deserved,” Anderson said in his Instagram post.

James Anderson
James Anderson. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

“I hope it will be played again at some point and I hope I will get to play another international game at my home ground that I love so much,” he added.

The 39-year-old bowler rued the anticlimactic end to the summer cricket season and offered words of support to hosts Lancashire country cricket club as well as fans who had travelled to the stadium. Even at the age of 39, he doesn’t seem to lose his magic and showed his calibre outright in the last Test series against India. James Anderson picked 15 wickets against India across four Tests with an average of 24.66.

James Anderson, who is the leading wicket-taker of England in Test cricket, said his family won’t be travelling with him to Australia as his children will have to be present in England for their education.

There will be a lot of hectic moments for England players who will be travelling to both UAE for the T20 World Cup (and IPL 2021) and later Australia as they will have to be under various COVID-19 bubbles and compel to strict quarantine rules of the respective country. James Anderson, who only plays red-ball cricket for England, said he will manage somehow but expressed concern over his teammates who would be participating in both the tours.

England Was Trailing By 2-1 When The Manchester Test Was Abandoned Without A Ball Being Bowled

In the four matches prior to the Manchester fixture, India had led the series 2-1. The opening Test at Trent Bridge was drawn before India won the next clash at Lord’s. England inflicted India an innings defeat in the third Test at Headingley but the visitors rallied to win the fourth Test at the Oval.

India vs England (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
India vs England (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has offered to ECB a rescheduling of the cancelled 5th Test match which was scheduled to be played at Manchester from Friday.

England’s James Anderson became the first seam bowler to reach 600 Test wickets, reaching the milestone in a gloomy last session of a rain-hit final day of the third Test against Pakistan. He is now the first bowler to possess 400 wickets in England, and the second bowler – after Muttiah Muralitharan – to have claimed as many wickets in his home country.

James Anderson is one of only two England bowlers – the other being Stuart Broad – to have taken more than 300 wickets at home in Test matches. Fred Trueman is third in the list of highest wicket-takers in England, with 229 wickets. Among the leading wicket-takers at home, Anil Kumble is third, with 350, followed by Stuart Broad (341 wickets), and Shane Warne (319 wickets).

A snarling James Anderson is congratulated on his five-fer by Chris Woakes (Getty)
A snarling James Anderson is congratulated on his five-fer by Chris Woakes (Getty)
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James Anderson May Miss 4th Test While Chris Woakes Set To Replace Sam Curran

James Anderson is the highest wicket-taker in Test cricket when it comes to pacers. James Anderson has been phenomenal against India in the series, taking 13 wickets at 16.25 and a strike rate of 47.7. The England Test veteran has taken a whopping 30 wickets at 19.79 this year alone, including two five-wicket hauls.

The battle between India skipper Virat Kohli and James Anderson may not take place in the fourth Test at The Oval as the veteran England pace bowler could be rested and return only for the fifth Test in Manchester.

James Anderson
James Anderson (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)

James Anderson May Be Rested And Could Return For The 5th Test In Manchester

The quick turnaround in the last three Test matches – to be played within three weeks – is forcing both the teams to rotate bowlers. While India has already made it clear, the English team could also go that way.

“What I don’t want to do is break them. We’ve got a lot of cricket in front of us. The Tests are coming thick and fast now. Back-to-back, it is difficult,” said England head coach Chris Silverwood to the media while pointing out the workload of his two new-ball bowlers, James Anderson and Ollie Robinson.

Chris Silverwood
Chris Silverwood Getty Images

At the age of 39, James Anderson has already bowled more overs in the first three Tests than any of the Indian seamers has bowled. He has bowled 116.3 which is just two balls less than Ollie Robinson (116.5), who has bowled the most in the series.

“These guys are giving everything, every day when we are out on the field and we have got to make sure we are looking after them. But I won’t be making any decisions or judgments right now,” he added.

James Anderson though had made it clear prior to the series that he wants to play every Test match in the series. Even though he had niggle in the lead-up to the second Test at Lord’s, he turned up to perform. He was unplayable in the first innings of the third Test at Headingley.

England’s frontline pacer James Anderson might be advised to rest for the fourth Test between England and India to be held at The Oval from September 2. The 39-year-old’s workload management has always been one of England’s top priorities so he may miss out on the Oval Test.

Chris Woakes May Replace Out Of Form Sam Curran In The 4th Test

But considering England have a long summer during the Ashes series Down Under and with Jofra Archer under an injury cloud, England may rest James Anderson for one of the next two Tests as part of workload management. With the last Test to be played at James Anderson’s home ground at Old Trafford in Manchester from September 10, it is likely that the England team management will play him there rather than at The Oval.

England’s Chris Woakes Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian
England’s Chris Woakes Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian

Chris Silverwood, though, admitted it will be hard to convince James Anderson to miss the fourth Test. England also faces a problem as their left-arm pace bowler Sam Curran is not performing well and is leaking runs whenever he has been brought on to bowl with the old ball. He may be replaced by Chris Woakes, who is fit again and has been added to the England squad.

James Anderson claimed his 400th wicket at home by dismissing Ajinkya Rahane during the morning session(4th day) of the 3rd Test. He is now the first bowler to possess 400 wickets in England, and the second bowler – after Muttiah Muralitharan – to have claimed as many wickets in his home country. James Anderson is one of only two England bowlers – the other being Stuart Broad – to have taken more than 300 wickets at home in Test matches.

Fred Trueman is third in the list of highest wicket-takers in England, with 229 wickets. Among the leading wicket-takers at home, Indian spinner Anil Kumble is third, with 350, followed by England pacer Stuart Broad (341 wickets), and Australian leg spinner Shane Warne (319 wickets).

Ollie Robinson PA Images via Getty Images
Ollie Robinson PA Images via Getty Images
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Ollie Robinson Felt Great To Open Bowling With James Anderson

Ollie Robinson, England pacer on Saturday said his legendary teammate James Anderson helped him in tweaking his wobble grip ball technique and it gave him a perfect result in the third Test against India.

Ollie Robinson exploited the second new ball on the fourth morning en route splendid bowling figures of 26-6-65-5 as England drew level in the five-match series with an innings and 76 runs win.

England’s Ollie Robinson Photograph: Andrew Couldridge/Action Images/Reuters
England’s Ollie Robinson. Photograph: Andrew Couldridge/Action Images/Reuters

Ollie Robinson Felt Great To Open Bowling With James Anderson

Ollie Robinson was named player of the match as England completed an innings-and-76-run victory in the third LV= Insurance Test at Leeds. He claimed 7 for 81 in the match, including 5 for 65 in the second innings

“I noticed Jimmy holding his wobble grip slightly differently. I was holding it from the other side so I spoke to him and just tried to practice it in the nets,” Robinson told reporters after his man-of-the-match performance.

“It went quite nicely, so I tried it in the game and it worked quite well. It’s something I need to practice a bit more. This learning opportunity is invaluable for me at this stage in my career and luckily it came off today. Obviously, it’s great to open the bowling with Jimmy and build pressure on both ends. I enjoyed it and hopefully, I can continue.”

Cheteshwar Pujara
Cheteshwar Pujara[photo: Twitter]
India collapsed from 215 for two to 278 all out on Day 4 of the 3rd Test. England began the proceedings with the second new ball and it all began with Ollie Robinson dismissing Cheteshwar Pujara on his overnight score of 91. Out-of-form India skipper Virat Kohli got to his first fifty of the series but only to be dismissed by Ollie Robinson that triggered a stunning collapse.

“It feels like a very special day, I don’t quite feel like it’s settled in yet. For me, it’s one of the great days in my cricket career, to get my first Test win is really special.”

On taking the prized scalp of Kohli, he said: “It is an amazing feeling. The crowds here were unbelievable. The noise when we got Kohli out was deafening, just an unbelievable experience and feeling to get that wicket.”

Ollie Robinson was named player of the match as England completed an innings-and-76-run victory in the third LV= Insurance Test at Leeds. He claimed 7 for 81 in the match, including 5 for 65 in the second innings.
With James Anderson and Stuart Broad coming towards the end and Jofra Archer facing an uncertain future, in Test cricket at least, Ollie Robinson’s emergence gives England great reassurance for the future. Ollie Robinson took 4 for 25 in eight metronomic overs on the fourth and final morning.

Ollie Robinson Trying His Best To Become A Better Person

Not long ago, the Sussex pacer had doubts over his fate in England cricket as he was suspended for offensive old racist tweets following his spectacular Test debut against New Zealand in June. After his apology, the Sussex seamer earned a recall for the Trent Bridge Test where he grabbed his maiden fifer.

“It’s off the back of quite a few hard years, I’ve had to work hard to get here and do a lot of extra to get here so to get the rewards in the last four four Test matches has been very pleasing,” the 27-year-old said.

Craig Overton celebrates a wicket Getty Images
Craig Overton celebrates a wicket Getty Images

“When you are performing obviously the scrutiny is off you a little bit. It (the racist tweet episode) is still quite fresh in my memory and I’m trying to work on becoming a better person.”

Ollie Robinson, England’s best bowler in the second innings, claimed 5 for 65 – a second career five-for in just his fourth Test. Craig Overton took two wickets to wipe out the tail and seal the match. Moeen Ali produced a big-spinning beauty to get a wicket of his own, and James Anderson was unlucky to wind up with just one dismissal to his name – he’d been all over Virat Kohli in his first spell.

England 432 (Root 121, Malan 70, Hameed 68, Burns 61, Shami 4-95) beat India 78 (Sharma 19, Anderson 3-6, Overton 3-14) and 278 (Pujara 91, Sharma 59, Kohli 55, Robinson 5-65) by an innings and 76 runs

Brydon Carse (Popperfoto via Getty Images)
Brydon Carse (Popperfoto via Getty Images)
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Brydon Carse Misses Out On A Potential Test Debut After Testing Covid-19 Positive

Brydon Carse, a Durham pacer who recently tested COVID-19 positive while playing in The Hundred, missed out on a potential Test debut against India in the ongoing series.

Brydon Carse came into Test side reckoning after Stuart Broad, Ben Stokes, Mark Wood, and Jofra Archer were ruled out of the Test series. Brydon Carse would have been included as a standby for the same.

Brydon Carse
Brydon Carse. (Photo by Will Matthews/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Brydon Carse Impressed During Limited Overs Series Against Pakistan

He impressed one and all during the limited-overs series against Pakistan, where he bowled with good pace and control. The 26-year-old took six wickets in that series from 3 ODIs averaging 22.66 and subsequently played for Northern Superchargers in The Hundred, where he had contracted the virus towards the fag end of the tournament. He originally hails from South Africa but left his country of birth to play for England.

Brydon Carse @Action Images via Reuters
Brydon Carse @Action Images via Reuters

He had applied passport for the same and was qualified to play for England in 2019. There are still 2 Tests remaining in the England and India series and it remains to be seen if Brydon Carse returns fit to be considered for selection.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) named a new 18-member squad for Pakistan ODIs after a Covid-19 outbreak ruled out seven members of their One-day international camp, who were part of the upcoming series against Pakistan. The rest of the squad was considered to be in close proximity, so the entire original team was isolated and a new team was announced.

Ben Stokes led the team comprising of 9 uncapped cricketers. The Ben Stokes-led side completed a clean sweep (3-0) over Pakistan.

India Fights Back On Day 3 Of The Headingley Test

There was finally something right going for India as they managed to stay alive in the third Test in Leeds. The visitors wrapped up the two wickets and got to bat in the first hour on day three. Openers Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul batted sensibly and ensured there was no loss of wickets for the first five overs. Just as the duo was settling, the latter got out for 8 owing to brilliance in the field by Jonny Bairstow.

Out-of-form batsman, Cheteshwar Pujara surprisingly got off the blokes quickly and managed to score some quick runs. He along with Rohit Sharma stayed vigilant at the crease and added an 82-run stand for the second wicket before the opener departed for a well-made 59.

Rohit Sharma and Cheteshwar Pujara © PTI
Rohit Sharma and Cheteshwar Pujara © PTI

Cheteshwar Pujara though continued to stay well in control and as the innings progressed, he gained confidence. He had skipper Virat Kohli for the company and, India finished at a formidable 215 for two at stumps on Day 3. Although the visitors still trail by 139, this fightback from the top three batsmen should inspire others to chip in with useful contributions with the bat on the final two days of the game.

India 78 and 215 for 2 (Pujara 91*, Rohit 59, Kohli 45*) trail England 432 (Root 121, Malan 70, Hameed 68, Burns 61, Shami 4-95, Bumrah 2-59) by 139 runs

James Anderson
James Anderson (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)
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James Anderson Critical Of Joe Root For Going With Mark Wood When Tailender Jasprit Bumrah Batted

James Anderson has slated Joe Root’s ploy to attack Jasprit Bumrah with short balls when he came into bat on the final day of the second Test at Lord’s. Bumrah opted for a barrage of short-stuff against James Anderson during Day 3 of the Test. The spell had led to multiple bouts of verbal altercations on the field between the players.

Jasprit Bumrah (Photo by PETER PARKS / AFP)
Jasprit Bumrah (Photo by PETER PARKS / AFP)

James Anderson Criticizes Joe Root For Going With Mark Wood When Jasprit Bumrah Batted

The England pacer reckons Joe Root might have been trying to get back at Jasprit Bumrah by removing him from the spell and bringing on Mark Wood.

“When Joe touched on getting a few things wrong, I think, potentially, when Bumrah came in, he brought Mark Wood on and took me off. That’s the sort of thing he is talking about getting the emotion get the better of him. That was a sort of – trying for him to have a taste of his own medicine type of thing, rather than trying to get him out.

“You could just keep me on and normally see if he plays any big shot or anything like that, whereas he went with Mark Wood straightaway,” James Anderson spoke on the Tailenders podcast.

England Test skipper Joe Root backs James Anderson , Twitter
England Test skipper Joe Root backs James Anderson, Twitter

The move clearly did not work, as Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami went on to stitch an unbeaten stand of 89 runs, eventually taking India to a winning position.

There was also an incident where while walking back to the Pavillion, James Anderson allegedly abused Jasprit Bumrah. And from there on, James Anderson was never quite in the match. Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami later went on to string an 89-run partnership for the 9th wicket that helped India win by 151 runs in the 2nd Test.

James Anderson: India Is A Passionate Side

However, James Anderson doesn’t believe that the England pacers bowled badly on the final day. He felt that everything went India’s way and the whole story could have been different if a chance went to a fielder’s hand.

“I thought they had a day as well. Chances just dropping either side of the fielders, dropping short, play and misses. On another day, one goes to hand and it’s a different story. But, all in all, it seemed that everything was against us that morning.”

Mark Wood. Photo Credit: Getty Images.
Mark Wood. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

James Anderson lauded India as a passionate side that channels its energy in the right way. He commended the way India batted and bowled on the final day to complete a victory that looked improbable at the start of the day.

“India are a passionate side. They use emotion differently from how we use it. They channel it well. We saw that on the last day. So I think that’s something we have got to think about going into the last three games.”

England has a difficult task at hand as they come into the third Test at Headingley. They trail the series 0-1. England’s pace attack, which was already depleted with injuries to Stuart Broad, Jofra Archer, and Ben Stokes, has suffered yet another setback after Mark Wood sustained a shoulder injury during the Lord’s Test. England’s fortunes will depend heavily on James Anderson in the third Test.

Mohammed Shami (56 n.o. & 1/13) and Jasprit Bumrah (34 n.o. & 3/33) played innings of their lives and then rocked the England top-order, before Ishant Sharma (2/13) and Mohammed Siraj (4/32) played their part to perfection to give the visitors a 1-0 lead in the five-match series.

Mark Wood. Photo Credit: Getty Images.
Mark Wood. Photo Credit: Getty Images.
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Mark Wood Ruled Out Of The 3rd Test With A Jarred Right Shoulder

Mark Wood has been ruled out of the impending third Test against India with a jarred right shoulder. Wood sustained the injury on the fourth day of the second Test at Lord’s and will not be fit to play at Emerald Headingley starting on Wednesday.

England seamer Mark Wood has been ruled out of the third Test match against India at Leeds, Headingly. The 31-year-old had hurt himself while fielding in the second Test match.

Mark Wood of England celebrates after dismissing Cheteshwar Pujara of India during the fourth day of the 2nd LV= Test match between England and India at Lord's Cricket Ground on August 15, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Philip Brown/Popperfoto/Popperfoto via Getty Images)
Mark Wood. (Photo by Philip Brown/Popperfoto/Popperfoto via Getty Images)

Mark Wood Ruled Out Of 3rd Test Joining Injured Stuart Broad, Jofra Archer, Chris Woakes, And Olly Stone

He will remain with the squad in Leeds and will continue his rehab with the England medical team. The 31-year-old will be assessed at the end of this Test match.

England's Stuart Broad. (Photo by Jon Super / POOL / AFP)
England’s Stuart Broad. (Photo by Jon Super / POOL / AFP)

With Stuart Broad, Jofra Archer and Chris Woakes already missing the series due to injuries and Ben Stokes taking an indefinite break to focus on his mental wellbeing, England had fielded a depleted XI and now, Mark Wood, too, might join the list of absentees. Stuart Broad, Jofra Archer, Olly Stone, and Chris Woakes are out due to injury whilst all-rounder Ben Stokes is unavailable owing to a mental health break.

Mark Wood Has A Jarred Eight Shoulder After Diving Headlong Into An Advertising Hoarding While Saving A Boundary

Mark Wood has been ruled out of this week’s third Test with India dealing a blow to the hosts’ hopes of levelling the five-match series which the tourists lead 1-0. The 31-year-old has a jarred right shoulder, a result of diving headlong into an advertising hoarding when saving a boundary on the fourth evening of the second Test at Lord’s.

Mark Wood injured his shoulder while attempting to save a boundary
Mark Wood injured his shoulder while attempting to save a boundary ( Image: Philip Brown/Popperfoto/Popperfoto via Getty Images)

Even though he bowled at speeds in excess of 93 mph (150 kph) on the last day of the second Test, which England lost, he has been judged not fit to take his place in the starting line-up for the game at Headingley, which gets underway on Wednesday.

England has called up Dawid Malan and Saqib Mahmood for the 3rd Test. Dominic Sibley and Zak Crawley have lost their spots. With Mark Wood’s injury, Mahmood, a veteran of 7 ODIs and 9 T20Is, is in line for a place in the starting XI as he is yet to debut in the Tests. He has picked 14 scalps in 7 ODIs averaging 19.93 and 7 scalps in 9 T20Is averaging 43.14.

Rory Burns Getty Images
Rory Burns Getty Images
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Rory Burns Seen Stepping Onto The Ball In The 2nd Lord’s Test

Rory Burns and pacer Mark Wood were seen passing the ball with their shoes. Rory Burns, who was wearing a shoe with spikes, was seen stepping onto the ball.  The England team caused a flutter when two of its players tried playing a bit of “football” with the red cherry during the post-lunch session on the fourth day of the second Test at Lords.

Footage from the official broadcasters emerged where one England player passed the ball to another, who used his spikes to trap it, raising a social media storm as accusations of ball-tampering flew thick and fast. England’s opener Rory Burns and speedster Mark Wood were passing the ball to each other using their shoes.

Rory Burns Stepping On Ball vs India Sparks "Ball-Tampering" Debate
Rory Burns Stepping On Ball vs India Sparks “Ball-Tampering” Debate.© Twitter

Rory Burns Seen Stepping Onto The Ball Which Ignited Ball-Tampering Controversy

Replays showed an English player stopping the ball with his spikes after the first one had kicked it with his shoe. The incident created quite an uproar among cricket fans on Twitter.  However, Indian batting coach Vikram Rathour felt it was “not deliberate”.

“We saw it much later but I don’t think it was deliberate,” Rathour said at the post-day press conference.

The Indian team hasn’t lodged an official complaint with match referee Chris Broad. The incident was recorded in the 35th over of the Indian second innings, bowled by Ollie Robinson.

England's Stuart Broad. (Photo by Jon Super / POOL / AFP)
England’s Stuart Broad (Photo by Jon Super / POOL / AFP)

The footage didn’t show the face of the players although some reports claim it’s none other than Mark Wood and Rory Burns. The matter did not escalate and the umpires didn’t change the ball.

In fact, when an Indian fan asked Stuart Broad on social media if it was intentional, the injured England seamer replied: “Of course, it wasn’t.”

Stuart Broad explained that if the umpires needed to check the ball after the particular incident to ensure it hasn’t been fiddled with, then every six would warrant a ball check. Former South Africa pacer Shaun Pollock, who was commenting at that time, also expressed disapproval regarding the incident after which the ‘Voice of Indian cricket’ Harsha Bhogle also condemned it.

Cheteshwar Pujara And Ajinkya Rahane Found Form  As The Duo Stitched A 100 Run Partnership For The 4th Wicket

On Day 4, India was in deep trouble after losing in-form openers KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma in the space of two overs. Virat Kohli, India’s captain, left with only 20 runs on the board. Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane, who has been chastised for their poor batsmanship for a long time, put on a critical century partnership to take India from 55/3 to 155.

Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (Dinuka Liyanawatte/Reuters)
Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (Dinuka Liyanawatte/Reuters)

However, Mark Wood struck again and dismissed Cheteshwar Pujara for 45 runs. Minutes later, Moeen Ali removed Ajinkya Rahane and Ravindra Jadeja to help England finish the day on top.  Earlier in the match, England pacer Mark Wood dismissed India opening batters Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul while Sam Curran sent Virat Kohli back to the pavilion as the visitors were put on the back foot in the opening session on Day 4.

Wood celebrates the wicket of Pujara on the fourth day at Lord’s (Photo: Getty)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 15: Mark Wood of England celebrates after dismissing Cheteshwar Pujara of India during the fourth day of the 2nd LV= Test match between England and India at Lord's Cricket Ground on August 15, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Philip Brown/Popperfoto/Popperfoto via Getty Images)
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Moeen Ali Pleased For Mark Wood Saying He ‘Fully Deserved His Wickets’

Moeen Ali, England spinner has said pacer Mark Wood fully deserved his wickets in the ongoing second Test against India here at the Lord’s Cricket Ground.

Mark Wood went on to dismiss Indian batsmen Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, and Cheteshwar Pujara in the second innings to put the visitors on the backfoot.

Mark Wood
Mark Wood. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Moeen Ali Pleased For Mark Wood Saying He Fully Deserves His Wickets

With the forecast dry the spectators will see India resume their second innings on 181 for six with the potentially electric Rishabh Pant at the crease on 14 but Ishant Sharma, the first of four candidates for No 11, alongside him. India lead by 154 runs and, whatever the final target, England face a tense run chase on a dozy pitch that still occasionally bursts into life.

Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (Dinuka Liyanawatte/Reuters)
Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (Dinuka Liyanawatte/Reuters)

This was the case during the final session of the fourth day. An afternoon of dead-batted defiance from Cheteshwar Pujara, 45 from 206 balls, and Ajinkya Rahane, 61 from 146, was followed by a three-wicket intervention that keeps England in the hunt to reward Joe Root’s masterful 180 on the third day with a 1-0 series lead. Mark Wood was the instigator here before a late tumble in the deep ended his day with a potential shoulder injury.

“I was very pleased for him (Wood). He was telling me in the first innings that he doesn’t get the wickets he would like, and I said these things can happen and they will come. The way he bowled was fantastic and it was a great catch by me at deep square leg!

“He fully deserved his wickets and the wicket of Pujara was massive. The way he ran in and banged the wicket with a softball on a dead wicket. I thought he was fantastic,” Moeen Ali said during a virtual press conference.

“It’s a fantastic Test match. It’s great for me personally to come back and to be a part of it, and hopefully tomorrow morning we can bowl them out and chase the runs down. They’ve got Pant, but we’ve got Jimmy,” he added.

Moeen Ali forecasted the new ball would prove decisive in settling the second Test between England and India after Sunday’s see-saw fourth day at Lord’s left the match intriguingly poised. India was 181/6 in their second innings, a lead of 154 runs when bad light forced an early close.

Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli were both disappointing with the bat in the second innings after being dismissed for 21 and 20 respectively. While Rohit Sharma was sent back to the pavilion while playing his favoured pull shot, Virat Kohli chased a wide delivery bowled outside off.

Moeen Ali: It Takes A Full Team Effort As A Bowling Unit

Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara scored 61 and 45 respectively as India ended Day 4 at 181/6 and the visitors have extended their lead to 154.

“The chat in the afternoon was just to hang in there, basically. Don’t try and search too much, just stay in there and something will happen. They came back strong and played really well, but I thought we still managed to contain them really well. We knew if we could get one out we could go bang-bang,” said Moeen.

“We are a bowling unit. Jimmy got five in the first innings, Woody and I got a few each. It takes a full team effort as a bowling unit, and that’s what we’ve been in this game,” he added. 

Moeen Ali
Moeen Ali dives to catch Rohit Sharma off the bowling of Mark Wood during a fine morning session for England. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

While Mark Wood returned with 3/40 bowling 14 overs, Moeen Ali picked 2/52 bowling 20 overs. The other wicket went to Sam Curran who got the prized scalp of Virat Kohli. Stuart Broad, England pacer missed the remainder of the Test series against India after tweaking his right calf during a warm-up at the Lord’s in London on Tuesday. The pacer had taken alone wicket against India in the opening Test.

Stuart Broad’s injury opened up a place for Mark Wood to enter the playing XI as he joined the likes of James Anderson, Sam Curran, and Ollie Robinson. For England, Haseeb Hameed and Moeen Ali entered the playing XI against India.

England's Stuart Broad. (Photo by Jon Super / POOL / AFP)
England's Stuart Broad appeals unsuccessfully during play on the second day of the second Test cricket match between England and the West Indies at Old Trafford in Manchester, north-west England on July 17, 2020. (Photo by Jon Super / POOL / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. NO ASSOCIATION WITH DIRECT COMPETITOR OF SPONSOR, PARTNER, OR SUPPLIER OF THE ECB
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Stuart Broad Said He May Not Be The Last England Injury Of The Series, All Bowlers Are In Red Zone

Stuart Broad, England pacer has dropped a major caveat for his team, saying his injury “won’t be the last” in the ongoing Test series because all other bowlers are playing in the “red zone.”

Stuart Broad, who was ruled out after the first Test with a calf tear, said the tight white-ball schedule has made it near impossible for the English players to manage the extra workload of Test cricket.

England's Stuart Broad holds the ball to celebrate taking 500 wickets Martin Rickett/Pool via AP
England’s Stuart Broad holds the ball to celebrate taking 500 wickets – Martin Rickett/Pool via AP

Stuart Broad Said He May Not Be The Last England Injury Of The Series As It’s Difficult To Play A 4 Day Or 5 Day Match Without Workload

Stuart Broad sustained the injury during a warm-up session ahead of the second Test at Lord’s. He and the other England bowlers either had just a few days of practice behind them or match-time in The Hundred and T20 Blast before the series. This was in sharp contrast to India’s month-long training, which included a practice match as well.

Stuart Broad wrote in his column for the Daily Mail on Sunday: “Sadly, I won’t be the last England injury of this series — not with the GPS ‘red zones’ as they are for players right now. The difficulty with the 2021 schedule being so white-ball dominant is that bowlers have just not built up overs in the bank.”

“Say Saqib Mahmood had been drafted in for this Test. He hasn’t played a red-ball game for 10 weeks and it’s very difficult to play a four or five-day match without some kind of workload behind you. It’s why bowlers do not come back from injury and play straight away.”

England’s Chris Woakes Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian
England’s Chris Woakes Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian

The right-arm pacer, who has played 149 Tests for England, elaborated further: “This summer, as there wasn’t even any second XI Championship cricket in the weeks before this series started, that hasn’t been possible, and so every single one of our bowlers was in that red zone when the first ball was sent down at Trent Bridge. “

“Sam Curran went from bowling five balls at a time to being asked for 20-25 overs in a day, and it makes life difficult for the likes of Chris Woakes, trying to get back into the team.”

While England welcomed back the likes of Jos Buttler, Moeen Ali, Sam Curran, and Jonny Bairstow in the 17-man squad to face India in Tests, two notable names went missing. The selectors did not name Chris Woakes and Jofra Archer as they continued to recover from their injuries.

Chris Woakes, who last played a Test in August 2020 against Pakistan, has sustained a broken heel while pacer Jofra Archer was ruled out from playing in the rest of the year. Ben Stokes also withdrew from the 5-match Test series against India as he has decided to ‘prioritize his mental wellbeing’. He was replaced by Somerset’s Craig Overton.

In a major blow to England, pacer Jofra Archer was ruled out of all cricket for the rest of 2021 due to a recurrence of a stress fracture of his right elbow, the England and Wales Cricket Board confirmed. Jofra Archer will miss the Test series against India, the IPL 2021 for Rajasthan Royals, the ICC T20 World Cup, and the Ashes.

Stuart Broad: James Anderson Will Have To Be In His Current Form For England To Give A Fight In The Series Against India

Stuart Broad also weighed in on his partner James Anderson’s superb form in the series. He said the veteran pacer’s ‘inspiring’ returns, which have so far included nine wickets, will be crucial for the hosts if they have to compete against India.

Broad added: “For us to keep in this series, Jimmy will have to have stay in this kind of form and lead an inexperienced attack. Whether he will play all five matches, I don’t know but there is a bit of a break after this match for him to rest up. His relentlessness and desire to keep playing is quite inspiring and highlights how English cricket’s mindset has changed from the era of Freddie Flintoff, Matthew Hoggard and Steve Harmison.”

James Anderson
James Anderson (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)

The Lord’s Test hung in the balance after Day 3’s play, with England taking a slender 27-run first-innings lead.

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