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India v England, 2nd Test, 2020-21

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Jofra Archer, England’s strike bowler, has been ruled out of the second Test in Chennai after receiving an injection in his right elbow.

Archer was instrumental in England’s 227-run victory in last week’s first Test, claiming three wickets in the match including both of India’s openers in a fiery new-ball spell in the first innings.

But he was unable to train on Thursday after reporting pain in his right elbow and has subsequently undergone a painkilling injection.

The England camp do not believe the issue is serious and hope Archer will have recovered to play in the third Test, in Ahmedabad, which starts on February 24.

Archer suffered a stress fracture in the same elbow around a year ago, though a statement from the England camp insisted “the issue is not related to any previous injury”.

The statement continued: “It is hoped the treatment will allow the condition to settle down quickly, allowing the player to return to action in time for the third Test in Ahmedabad.”

However, the injury is a major loss to England as they seek to build on the efforts in the first Test. As a bowler capable of generating 90mph pace, Archer had the means to transcend the conditions while the surface was still true in the first half of the game.

England were already set to make at least one change with Ben Foakes replacing Jos Buttler, who has returned to the UK for a rest. With Mark Wood also at home – though expected back in India with Jonny Bairstow on Friday – the closest like-for-like replacement England have for Archer is Olly Stone.

Stone made a decent impression in his only Test to date, against Ireland at Lord’s in 2019. But he has managed only one first-class game since due to injury and England might be reluctant to bring him in for such a high-profile game on a surface which is expected to be slow and offer turn from an early stage.

England have already indicated that Stuart Broad will be recalled in Archer’s place, having originally been earmarked to rotate into James Anderson’s senior-bowler role, but there is now an increased chance that both could play. Chris Woakes, who might also strengthen the batting, is another option.

England also have a choice to make about their spin bowling. While Dom Bess claimed four first-innings wickets, he bowled 19 full tosses across the match and looked oddly out of sorts by the end of it. Moeen Ali, who has endured a miserable trip so far, could replace him. Moeen spent the first two weeks of the Sri Lanka tour in isolation after being diagnosed with Covid-19.

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