• Australia in England 2012

Anderson a doubt for Oval

Daniel Brettig
June 29, 2012 « Hales returns to county action in style | Chartbeat test »
James Anderson might not be risked given the tight schedule of this summer © AFP
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England's spearhead James Anderson is in doubt for the second ODI against Australia at The Oval on Sunday after picking up a suspected groin strain during his side's 15-run victory over the tourists at Lord's.

Anderson took the vital wickets of David Warner and George Bailey but grimaced his way through his spells and was unable to bowl out, leaving Ravi Bopara to deliver one over.

Alastair Cook, the England captain, said that Anderson appeared to have suffered a groin strain and would need to be assessed ahead of the second match of the series. Given the tight schedule surrounding these five matches and the Tests against South Africa that follow, the hosts would be unlikely to risk a half-fit Anderson, their most accomplished and experienced bowler.

"There is a slight worry about his groin, clearly he stayed out there, but he's just off the field now and we're going to have to assess him tomorrow morning and we'll let you know as soon as we know," Cook said. "We did discuss him staying off and he wanted to come back on and he obviously bowled after it. But that last over he didn't want to bowl it so we had to use another option."

Anderson and Tim Bresnan made important contributions to the victory despite being taken for runs at other times, Bresnan rebounding from an early mauling from Warner to claim the wickets of Steve Smith and the Australian captain Michael Clarke

"What is very nice as a captain when you've got five experienced bowlers like that, they might bowl the odd bad over but they don't bowl many bad spells. So we knew we'd take it down to the wire. We just kept nipping wickets just at the right time," Cook said. "As a captain it certainly makes it easier when you know they might have a bad over, you take them off and they normally get it right when they come back. That's the bonus when you've got four quality quicks."

Clarke, meanwhile, was left to ponder his side's concession of 48 runs from England's final four overs, and a series of mis-steps with the bat, including the run-out of Matthew Wade in which he played a part.

"That run-out probably played a big part in us not winning the game," Clarke said. "If Matthew and I were there at the end we said if we can get there with six overs to go, you never know, the run rate was up to about eight and a half, but if we were there we were confident we'd be a chance.

"It's disappointing and run-outs tend to do that, tend to cost you the game. There are areas that are positive for us, the way we started with the ball was really positive, it was a good opportunity for the batters to get a good look at the England fast bowlers but the areas for us to improve are death bowling and not losing wickets at important stages."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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