Anderson unable to bowl again in Sri Lanka opener

Anderson unable to bowl again in Sri Lanka opener

And the 28-year-old Lancashire seamer is also now doubtful for the second of this three-Test series starting at Lord's this coming yesterday.

Ashes hero Anderson twice left the field on the second day's play here on Friday and bowled just one over in the final session.

Although he was fit to bat -- Anderson emerged as a nightwatchman following the loss of England captain Andrew Strauss late on Friday -- a post-play scan revealed a left side strain.

Anderson was the pick of England's pace attack in Sri Lanka's first innings 400, taking three for 66.

He was not required to bat before lunch on Saturday as rain washed out the whole of the third day's morning session.

"Scans have shown James Anderson has a grade one side strain and will not bowl for the rest of the first Test," an England and Wales Cricket Board spokesman said. "He will bat as it poses minimal risk of further damage.

"His involvement in the second Test will be determined following assessment after the first Test."

England have long persisted with a policy of only playing four specialist bowlers in Test matches, which proved successful during a 3-1 Ashes series win in Australia completed in January.

But the danger of such an approach can be evident if, as in Anderson's case, one of those bowlers is injured early in a match.

Prior to this match, England had left themselves short of bowling cover by including left-handed batsman Eoin Morgan in the number six spot left vacant by the Test retirement of Paul Collingwood rather than opting for all-rounder Ravi Bopara, a lively medium-pacer.

In the absence of both Collingwood and Bopara, top-order batsman Jonathan Trott bowled six overs of largely unthreatening medium pace that cost 29 runs and rarely looked like yielding a wicket on a good batting pitch.

Kevin Pietersen, Trott's fellow South Africa born batsman, could now find his occasional off-spin being called upon by England captain Andrew Strauss.

England bowling coach David Saker, speaking to BBC Radio's Test Match Special before the extent of Anderson's injury was revealed said: "Four bowlers works well for us but it does change if someone gets injured.

"But in the last 18 months they've gone with that, they've only had two incidents where a bowler has not been able to finish the game," the Australian added.
"There are going to be arguments all the time about whether we should play five bowlers.

"In an ideal world our number six would be someone to bowl a few overs but Trotty did bowl a few overs (yesterday)...maybe Colly could have done a better job but who knows."