Anderson injury can be turning point - Clarke
Australian captain Michael Clarke reckons that the injury to England's pace spearhead James Anderson could be pivotal to the visitors' fortunes as they try to stage a recovery in the ongoing Ashes series.
Anderson suffered a side strain in the third Test at Edgbaston, which led to him being ruled out of the fourth Test at Trent Bridge, which happens to be a happy hunting ground for the 33-year-old.
Back in 2005, Australia suffered from a similar situation when Glenn McGrath was ruled out of the second Test with an ankle injury sustained in training.
England bounced back in that match to level the series 1-1 at Edgbaston; Australia failed to win another game in the campaign, which they eventually lost 2-1.
Clarke stated that injuries have been a distraction for both the teams, while hoping that the absence of Anderson works in Australia’s favour.
“Every day there’s something new that pops up, (there’s been) plenty of distractions for both teams, that’s for sure.
“I guess we experienced it in losing Ryan Harris before a ball was bowled this series, and now Jimmy Anderson is certainly out of this Test match, and who knows if he’ll be fit for the last one as well?
“As much as you don’t wish injury on anyone, I hope it can play a part like in 2005 when we lost Glenn McGrath.”
In eight matches at the Trent Bridge, Anderson has 53 wickets at an excellent average of 19.24, including six five-wicket hauls alongside two 10-wicket hauls.
Admitting that Australia will feel confident without Anderson bowling at them, Clarke stressed upon the importance of performing well as the opposition will continue to put them under pressure.
“Hopefully we can take a bit of confidence knowing that someone who, I think he averages 19 (as a bowler) at this ground in Nottingham, is unavailable for selection.
“I think we can take a lot of positives from that. But again, it’s about performance. No matter who they bring in, I’m sure they’ll bowl well.”
The pitches for the first two games of this Ashes series were flat, offering little help for the bowlers, but the track at Edgbaston assisted the pacers, with a lot of swing and seam movement on offer.
Clarke is expecting a similar pitch and playing conditions at the Trent Bridge, as he reiterated that Australia must seize the opportunity to put a big total on the board.
“I’m pretty sure conditions will be pretty similar to what we just faced (in Edgbaston), so there might be a bit of swing and a bit of seam around, and we’ve just got to find a way to get in, and once we do get in, go on and make a real big score.”
England lead the five-match series 2-1, with the fourth game kicking off at the Trent Bridge on the 6th August.
© Cricket World 2015