James Anderson and Stuart Broad: Wood and Robinson issues further highlights absence of duo

Ashes James Anderson Stuart Broad

The shadows of James Anderson and Stuart Broad loomed large over the third morning of England’s Test warm-up in the West Indies after fitness issues saw Mark Wood and Ollie Robinson temporarily withdrawn from the match.

With just five days to go before the series opener, the tourists were forced to continue their only practice game in Antigua without two members of the first-choice XI.

Having controversially omitted both Anderson and Broad, the two leading wicket-takers in England’s Test history, injury concerns in the bowling ranks were the last thing the tourists will have wanted.

England miss James Anderson and Stuart Broad

Stuart Broad and James Anderson were controversially left out of the England squad
Stuart Broad and James Anderson were controversially left out of the England squad (Jason O’Brien/PA)

Wood, the standout quick during a dismal Ashes campaign, has yet to play any part against a CWI President’s XI and did not travel to the ground on day three having felt unwell over the past 48 hours. Even if he does rally to play some part, he will do some with a vastly reduced workload under his belt.

Robinson left the field with a lower back problem midway through his first spell. He had taken the only wicket of the session when he had Devon Thomas lbw with one that nipped back in on a docile pitch.

Waiting in the wings

Uncapped seamers Saqib Mahmood and Matt Fisher, who had not been due to feature in the match, were both called into action instead as they got an unexpected chance to prove their credentials in soporific conditions.

Both acquitted themselves steadily without being able to part Keacy Carty (44no) and Raymon Reifer (42no). Responding to England’s 466 for six declared, an innings which featured four half-centuries and a Jonny Bairstow hundred, the home side reached 133 for three at lunch.

With precious little in it for the bowlers, Robinson did well to jag one back into Thomas’ pads early on but things were about to take a turn for the worse for the Sussex man. After sending down the third ball of his fourth over he walked gingerly from the pitch seeking treatment.

It was later confirmed that he had a sore back. Recalling the back spasm he suffered during the fifth Ashes Test, he is being monitored.

Chris Woakes, the senior seamer on tour, went to the break wicketless from 14 overs.