Jofra Archer ruled OUT of England's second Test against India

Jofra Archer ruled OUT of England’s second Test against India due to an arm injury… with Joe Root’s selection plans thrown into disarray as he tries to manage his squad’s workload

  • Jofra Archer will miss England’s second Test with India in Chennai due to injury
  • Sportsmail understands it’s unrelated to the stress fracture Archer suffered with
  • The 25-year-old is to be held back for the third Test, to be played in Ahmedabad 
  • It leaves Joe Root with a selection headache as he looks to rotate his players 

Jofra Archer has been ruled out of the second Test against India in Chennai due to a fresh elbow injury.

As revealed by Sportsmail, the Sussex fast bowler did not attend England’s training session on Thursday after experiencing discomfort in his right arm and with just three days between the first and second Tests of a four-match series, the tourists are taking no chances.

The 25-year-old was given a painkilling injection in the joint and the decision was taken to hold him back for the third Test, to played under the floodlights in Ahmedabad from February 24, following an assessment that it was a ‘niggle’ rather than anything serious. 

Jofra Archer will miss England’s second Test against India in Chennai due to an arm injury

‘The issue is not related to any previous injury and it is hoped the treatment will allow the condition to settle down quickly,’ an England team spokesman said in reaction to Sportsmail’s story.

A stress fracture of the same elbow ruled out Archer of all but the first Test of a two-month tour of South Africa last winter.

England captain Joe Root confirmed that Stuart Broad will be recalled for the match starting on Saturday at the MA Chidambaram Stadium and then alluded to a fitness concern at his press conference, saying ‘there are a few things we want to make sure we are clear on.’

The Archer development complicates the tourists’ selection plans as they plot a seventh straight Test victory overseas and look to maintain their quest to make the World Test Championship final by winning three matches in this current series.

One of the options being contemplated was for Broad to replace James Anderson, England’s bowling match winner on Tuesday when he returned a brilliant reverse swing spell of three for six that plunged India towards a 227-run defeat. 

Despite that stunning performance, England have kept apart the 38-year-old and his regular new-ball partner Broad in Asian conditions so far this winter as part of a long-term strategy to avoid fatigue and ensure peak performance in the bowling attack as they look to navigate their way through 17 Tests in 2021. 

Archer wore a ‘sleeve’ bandage on his right arm while bowling in his first Test for six months

Broad started in the first of the year but Anderson blew away Sri Lanka’s first innings of the second in Galle with six wickets and kept his place to return match figures of five for 63 to help put the tourists 1-0 up against Virat Kohli’s team. 

It is the kind of form to merit retention once more but no decisions on a final XI have yet been made and Root and England coach Chris Silverwood will consider multiple combinations on Friday.

Ideally, they would want an express pace option in Warwickshire’s Olly Stone in the absence of both Archer and Mark Wood, who is resting back in the UK after featuring twice in Sri Lanka last month. Chennai’s pitches are notorious for breaking up, creating uneven bounce for the fast bowlers in addition to lavish turn for the spinners.

Archer, who sported a long ‘sleeve’ bandage on his right arm while bowling in his first Test for six months, produced a devastating new-ball spell that rattled openers Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill and left India two down early in their reply to England’s 578 last weekend.

Joe Root and England are committed to ensuring bowlers are rested during a hectic schedule

He then roughed up Ravichandran Ashwin with a bouncer barrage before lunch on the fifth morning and completed victory by taking the final wicket of the match shortly after afternoon drinks. 

As Anderson showed, however, the SG ball also offers reverse swing in the dry conditions of the subcontinent and he is by far their best exponent of the art.

Another Warwickshire bowler in Chris Woakes is also in the squad but with all-rounder Ben Stokes also providing a seam option, they are likely to pick only two specialists.

One confirmed change comes behind the stumps where Ben Foakes will deputise for Jos Buttler for the rest of the series while Dom Bess will come under pressure from Moeen Ali for the off-spinner’s berth. There are also question marks over the suitability of batting Essex’s three-cap Dan Lawrence at number three.

‘We’ll mull over some other changes ahead of the game,’ Root said. ‘Guys are going to have to come in and rotate. They will be fresh and have to deliver when they’re given an opportunity.’ 

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