Stuart Broad ruled out for rest of Test series against India

Stuart Broad heads to the dressing room after turning his ankle in training
August 11, 2021

Stuart Broad has been ruled out of the remainder of England's Test series with India after tearing his right calf muscle.

Broad underwent an MRI scan in London on Wednesday, which revealed the tear, suffered when he appeared to slip during a light warm-up jog ahead of training at Lord's on the previous day.

Saqib Mahmood has been called up to England's squad as cover ahead of the second of five Tests starting at Lord's on Thursday, and could be in line for a surprise debut with James Anderson also an injury doubt.

Anderson missed training on Wednesday morning, and Cricday understands he is suffering from a tight quad. The decision was precautionary, but it could leave England without both of their senior seamers heading into the second Test. He did appear for a ten-minute work-out on the main square later in the afternoon, bowling at half-pace though without apparent discomfort, with bowling coach Jon Lewis and the medical staff in attendance.

Broad, 35, will miss what would have been his 150th Test after he was unable to put weight on his left foot. If both England seamers are ruled out, it would be only the second home Test to feature neither Anderson nor Broad since 2007.

Broad's injury comes after a fallow first Test in which he went wicketless in India's first innings before finding a better rhythm second-time around, claiming KL Rahul's wicket on the fourth evening before rain washed out an intriguing final day. He currently has 524 wickets at 27.84 in his 149 Tests to date, placing him sixth on the all-time Test wicket-takers list.

"Things can change so quickly," Broad wrote on Instagram. "During the warm-up, I jumped a hurdle, landed a bit awkwardly on my right ankle, then the next step felt like I'd been whipped by a rope as hard as you can imagine on the back of my leg. All so innocuous. Season over and gutted to miss this India Test series but a huge focus on Australia now.

"Going to take my time, no rush, baby steps and be the fittest I can be heading out there. Big focus is my brain. I'll be watching every ball from my sofa hoping to see runs and wickets in the glorious Lord's sunshine."

Mahmood, who impressed for England's white-ball squad in the recent series against Pakistan, was set to link up with the squad at Lord's on Wednesday. Moeen Ali is expected to return to the side to provide England with a spin option, while Mark Wood - unused in the first Test - is likely to join Ollie Robinson among the frontline seamers, with Sam Curran set to be retained in a more conventional allrounder's role. That would leave Mahmood and Craig Overton, the Somerset allrounder, as fast-bowling cover, with one of the two replacing Anderson in the event he is ruled out.

Chris Woakes (bruised heel) and Ben Stokes (personal reasons) are also unavailable for the second Test, leaving England facing the prospect of fielding a second-choice seam attack. Either way, with Jofra Archer now ruled out until after this winter's Ashes and Olly Stone confirming on the BBC on Tuesday that he is unlikely to return to bowling for six months after his latest stress fracture, Mahmood now seems increasingly likely to make his Test debut at some stage this summer, with a view to testing his readiness for a role in Australia.

He claimed nine wickets at 13.66 in England's 3-0 series win in the ODIs against Pakistan in July, after being called up as part of an emergency squad following a Covid outbreak in England's original party, and retained his place for the subsequent T20I series, where he picked up a further four wickets at 28.00.

He has since been one of the star bowlers in the first season of the Hundred, with five wickets at 22.40 for Oval Invincibles, though now looks set to miss their final two group games as they push for a play-off berth.

England have also announced that their offspinner Dom Bess will return to Yorkshire to compete in the Royal London Cup, after being released from the Test squad following Moeen's inclusion.

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