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England’s bowling problems in the Ashes hit with another blow

Olly Stone

England bowler have lost pace bowler Olly Stone for the next two Ashes Tests due to injury.

Adding to their woes in the bowling department with Mark Wood (knee/side strain) out for the rest of the year and Jimmy Anderson experiencing a recurrence of the calf injury he picked up in action for Lancashire early in July.

Stone will not be available for the second and third Tests at Lord’s and Headingley owing to a back injury. He showed promising signs on his Test debut last month against Ireland, taking 3-29.

The 25-year-old will undergo scans to assess the full extent of the issue, having suffered a stress fracture of his back earlier this year.

“It’s really disappointing for Olly that he’s been ruled out for such an important two weeks of cricket because of a reoccurrence of his back injury,” said Paul Farbrace, Warwickshire’s Sport Director.

“At the moment there’s a bit of inflammation, but he will undergo a scan later this afternoon so that we know the full course of treatment that he can undertake with the club’s medical team and with the support of the ECB.”

As a result of Stones’ setback and Anderson a doubt until the fifth Test, a higher degree of urgency is placed on Jofra Archer being cleared for selection.

The World Cup star tore through Gloucestershire on Tuesday in action for Sussex second XI, taking 6-27 and hitting a century.

Archer himself is working his way back from an ‘excruciating’ side strain.

England’s problems extend beyond the seamers and pace bowlers to the spinners; with Joe Denly and Joe Root both pitching in with their leg-break and off-break as lead spinner Moeen Ali hovered around the outfield in Australia’s second innings.

Minus the efforts of Anderson, Ali bowled just 29 overs on a pitch deteriorating into the spinners’ favour. Denly and Root combined for 26 overs before Nathan Lyon starred on day five with 6-49 to hand Australia a 251-run victory.

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