England seamer Anderson ruled out of first Test

Durban, Dec 24 (IANS) Right calf strain has ruled out England seamer James Anderson from the first cricket Test against South Africa starting here on Saturday, it was announced on Thursday.

“Scans on Anderson’s right calf on Tuesday confirmed he will miss the series opener in Durban, but England’s leading Test wicket-taker is hoping to be fit for the second Test in Cape Town on January 2,” England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said in a release.

The 33-year-old will do some light fitness work over the coming days, before undergoing a fitness test towards the end of the first Test.

When Anderson missed the final two Ashes Tests because of a side strain, Stuart Broad stepped into his shoes as leader of the attack remarkably well as a haul of 8-15 put England on track to regain the urn.

Head Coach Trevor Bayliss, while acknowledging that losing the spearhead of their attack would be a big blow, is in little doubt Broad will be able to fulfil the role again.

“From Stuart’s point of view we’ve got an obvious replacement as leader of the attack there and I’m sure he would show that he could handle that as he did against Australia in the fourth Test,” said Bayliss.

“It’s always a concern if your leading bowler or leading batter misses a game, but the last time Jimmy missed one we did pretty well so you never know.”

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