ICL: Indian Cricket League

England face more injury concerns ahead of Australia clash


England could face Australia in the One-day International (ODI) on Friday (today) without their two opening bowlers, in another blow to the already weakened side.

England’s hopes of making the tri-series finals are hanging in the balance after their thrashing by New Zealand on Tuesday.

Neither Jon Lewis nor James Anderson trained in Adelaide on Thursday with the first suffering back stiffness and the second an ankle problem.

England batsman Paul Collingwood said back-up seamers Chris Tremlett, Sajid Mahmood and Liam Plunkett were all ready and capable of performing if the pair were declared unfit for the game in Adelaide.

“They’re raring to go,” Collingwood said in Adelaide on Thursday. “Tremlett had a bit of an outing in Brisbane and looked pretty impressive, so if (Lewis and Anderson are) not fit they’re raring to go, bowling well in the net and ready to fill their places,” he explained.

“I think we’re missing some key players in the side but certainly the players who have come in are capable of stepping up to the plate and doing a job,” he added.

Anderson has been in rejuvenated form in the tri-series while Lewis claimed 4-36 against Australia last Friday.

Missing the match would increase pressure on interim captain Andrew Flintoff, who is still searching for his first win as skipper on the tour, to perform with the ball.

The injury concerns over the pair are yet another blow to the besieged English, with captain Michael Vaughan still missing with a hamstring strain and Kevin Pietersen back home recovering from a cracked rib.

Their poor batting form remains a major issue, making a paltry 120 against New Zealand on Tuesday.

England have been unable to get a good opening partnership to build from and coach Duncan Fletcher told Melbourne newspaper The Age that opener Andrew Strauss, who has had a very lean tour, would have been rested if there was a replacement opener available.

“We try to give them rests, but with the players missing at the moment we haven’t got a batter here to replace Strauss,” Fletcher said. “If we did, we would probably look at giving him a rest,” he added.

Fletcher said Strauss, with just 77 runs at 19.25 in the tri-series, was a player that England needed to score heavily if they had a chance of turning their form around.

“There is pressure on him,” Fletcher said. “He knows we have got to bat around him. He knows he is the centre of that batting order at the moment … he is struggling with that pressure at the moment,” he added.

Source:The News

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