James Anderson missed the Lord's Test against Australia due to a calf injury he sustained in the Edgbaston match. (Image credit: Getty Images)
England has named an unchanged squad for the third Ashes Test against Australia which will begin on August 22 in Leeds. England's selectors kept faith with the XI that drew the rain-affected second Ashes Test at Lord's on Sunday, with the hosts having the better of an exciting last day before Australia held out to preserve their 1-0 lead in the five-match series. Surrey left-arm seamer Sam Curran, who did not play at Lord's, retained his place in a 12-man squad for the third Test, which starts at England captain Joe Root's Headingley home ground on Thursday. With just a four-day turnaround between Tests in London and Leeds, major changes were always unlikely.
The squad announcement means there is no place for James Anderson, who missed most of the Edgbaston Test and the Lord's Test due to a calf injury which he sustained in the first innings of the first Test. Anderson will step his rehabilitation this week by playing for Lancashire 2nd XI against Leicestershire in a three-day friendly match in Liverpool. Anderson's fitness will be assessed continually ahead of the fourth Test at his Old Trafford home ground starting on September 4.
England will hope that is sufficient time for World Cup-winning fast bowler Jofra Archer, who took five wickets while repeatedly topping speeds of 90 mph on his Test debut, to recover from the 44 overs he sent down at Lord's. In the last encounter between England and Australia at Leeds in 2009, Australia won by an innings when Mitchell Johnson picked up a five-wicket haul.
Australia, on the other hand, will be contemplating some changes. Captain Tim Paine did not express confidence that Smith would be fine for the third Test. "I'm not sure about Headingley. He (Smith) will need to improve, there's no doubt about that. Hopefully for our sake he does," Paine said.
Archer had an impact in the second innings as he picked up David Warner and Usman Khawaja but he also hit Marnus Labuschagne on the helmet first ball. However, Labuschagne, who became the first concussion substitute in history, held his nerve to hit fifty and help Australia escape with a draw at Lord's.
Rory Burns, Jason Roy, Joe Root (c), Joe Denly, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler , Jonny Bairstow, Chris Woakes, Jofra Archer, Stuart Broad, Jack Leach, Sam Curran