It’s a tricky balancing act, says the English skipper of playing fast bowler in the last test
Joe Root said England must carefully manage James Anderson’s workload to avoid a series loss to India in the fifth Test at Old Trafford starting Friday.
England’s great Anderson rolled 47 overs for just two wickets during a 157-run loss in the fourth Test in the oval and sent 33 overs during India’s second innings alone, which lasted more than 11 hours.
39-year-old Paceman’s heavy workload after four consecutive Tests has raised concerns about his fitness and his ability to lead England’s attack on his home ground in Manchester series.
And with a tour of Australia on the horizon, England will want the experience of Test Cricket’s most successful fast bowler as he seeks to reclaim the ashes Down Under.
“You have to weigh everything and take into account to make sure that he (Anderson) is physically in the right place and that he feels that he will get through it,” said England captain Root after the emphatic turnaround on Monday. If he goes down injured, we’ll be in a difficult place for the rest of the game and for the winter, ”added Muttiah Muralitharan (800 test wickets) and Australian Shane Warne (708).
“Ultimately, we have to find a way to win – it’s a delicate balancing act.”
England has recently seen fast bowlers Stuart Broad, Jofra Archer, Mark Wood, Olly Stone and Chris Woakes all sidelined, despite Woakes making a return at the oval.
Craig Overton’s availability for the fifth test is now in doubt after receiving a nasty blow in the arm from Umesh Yadav on Monday when he was fired.
“It was frustrating how many injuries we had. It’s an integral part of the game and the current climate we live in, ”said Root.
“We have to make sure that we are doing everything in the best interests of the players while giving ourselves the best chance of winning. It was a tough summer. It was a busy schedule, wonderful cricket and very intense cricket, ”he explained.
“It’s an integral part of a friendly game and something to be managed.”
After losing 1-0 in a series of two games against test world champions New Zealand at the beginning of the season, Root wants to avoid another similar loss to India.
“It’s going to be really important that we recover very quickly, just like a week ago,” said Root, whose side recovered from a 151-run loss to India in the second Test and won the third with one innings and 76 runs his home stadium in Headingley.
“We will make sure that we have that certain something between our teeth at Old Trafford and that we can relax.”