James Anderson could bowl only four overs on the first day of the Ashes Test against England. (Image credit: Getty Images)
James Anderson's presence in the Test side was expected to boost England's momentum after winning the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup. Anderson bowled four overs of wonderful swing but walked off the field after complaining of hamstring soreness. Anderson did not play any further part in the remainder of the day as he had gone for scans on his hamstring. The onus was on Stuart Broad who took his seventh five-wicket haul against the Aussies. Broad took 5/86 and also became the ninth England bowler to take 100 wickets against the old enemy as Australia managed to reach 284 all out, with Steve Smith smashing his 24th century and ninth against England.
Speaking after the end of the day, Broad said Anderson had apologised to the bowling group for letting them down. "He came and said sorry to the bowlers. He feels like he's let the bowling group down, which of course he hasn't. He's down and he's frustrated. Not that he's got anything to be sorry for, but he's just - he's distraught he couldn't be out there today," Broad said.
Anderson had sustained a calf injury while playing for Lancashire against Durham on July 2. The Lancashire pacer could not play the one-off Test against Ireland in Lord's as he was still recovering from the injury. The England management were confident that Anderson would make a recovery but his lack of participation on the first day has given the team some concern.
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"I don't know the next step with it. It (the scans) could show not much and he'll bowl in the second innings or it could show something and it might be a couple of weeks. Until we get the scan results back, I don't suppose there's too much to say other than he's a bit down in the dumps as you'd expect," Broad said.
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Australia was reduced to 122/8 but Smith smashed a glorious century and shared partnerships of 88 and 74 with Peter Siddle and Nathan Lyon. This is the second Ashes contest in England that Anderson has been plagued by injury. In the 2015 series, after Anderson took 6/39 in the third Test at Edgbaston, Anderson suffered a side strain which forced him to miss the fourth and fifth Test. England managed to win the series 3-2.