Injured Anderson in doubt for Boxing Day Test

Updated: Dec 22, 2010, 15:09 PM IST

Melbourne: England’s chances of taking a decisive lead in the Ashes series have taken a hit with the news that main strike bowler James Anderson is carrying a side injury.

England coach Andy Flower confirmed that his most experienced seamer had pulled up stiff after Perth.

With Stuart Broad out of the tour with injury and young quick Steve Finn looking fatigued during the WACA Test, Anderson’s withdrawal would cause a further shake-up of the team`s attack.

“A five-Test series is hard, physically and emotionally. For the fast bowlers even more so because we don’t have an all-rounder and are sticking with our four-bowler attack,” a newspaper quoted Flower, as saying.

“Anderson is feeling stiff in his side but the indications are he should be fine for Melbourne … We have a few days off to rest and recuperate and we’ll make decisions then,” he added.

All-rounder Tim Bresnan or pacer Ajmal Shahzad would come into the England side for their Ashes debut if Anderson is ruled out of the Boxing Day Test due to injury.