Lightning-quick paceman Mark Wood will be out of action for at least a month having suffered a left side strain in the World Cup final, whilst Jofra Archer and Jimmy Anderson appear on course to make the first Ashes Test.
The Durham speedster appeared to have put to bed his injury-prone reputation by playing in 10 of England’s 11 matches on their journey to World Cup glory.
The injury confirms Wood as a definite absentee for the first Ashes Test at least, with his inclusion in later matches to be determined based on his rate of recovery.
The news compounds English fans’ concerns over the upcoming Ashes bowling unit as Jofra Archer was also missing from the squad to face Ireland in the four-day Test at Lord’s next week.
Archer was England’s standout bowler over the last seven weeks, topping England’s charts in both wickets taken (20) and average (24.55).
The Barbadian-born seamer also suffered a side strain, the injury occuring in the latter stages of the group phase, but was able to manage the problem to the extent that his playing time was not reduced.
An ECB statement read: “Archer will have a period of rest before being considered for selection during the Specsavers Ashes Test Series.
“He will have a short break in Barbados before returning to the UK later this month.”
One piece of good news was delivered by chairman of selectors Ed Smith, however, as he revealed that Jimmy Anderson could return to action in the one-off encounter having suffered tightness in his right calf whilst playing a County match for Lancashire two weeks ago.
Questioned regarding Anderson’s potential inclusion, Smith revealed: “It’s not clear. He’s making good progress and, if he’s fit to play without risk against Ireland, that’s a possibility.”
England’s 13-man squad to face Ireland is listed below:
✅ Jason Roy
✅ Jimmy Anderson
❌ Jofra Archer
❌ Mark Wood
England have announced their test squad to face Ireland in an Ashes warm-up game. #Believe
— Sky Sports Cricket (@SkyCricket) July 17, 2019
Jofra Archer has changed the mood if not the scoreline.
Steve Smith out, Marnus Labuschagne in.
Woakes enjoyed Archer v Smith just as much as the rest of us.
The marquee might read England v Australia, but we all know it’s Steve Smith v Jofra Archer
Thankfully, Smith appears to have suffered no lasting damage.
Olly Stone has been ruled out of the rest of the season with a partial lower back stress fracture.
It’ll take a superb spell of bowling or a shambolic batting collapse for either side to win from here.
Click to see Steve Smith’s ‘cat on a hot tin roof’ impression.
“I need more time to think, that’s the honest answer. It’s a big decision, it’s a big commitment.”