Jade Dernbach joins up with England squad

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The Independent Online

Uncapped Surrey seamer Jade Dernbach has been added to the England squad for the second npower Test against Sri Lanka as a replacement for the injured James Anderson.

England are otherwise unchanged from the side that defeated the tourists in dramatic fashion thanks to a remarkable final session in Cardiff yesterday.

Anderson misses Friday's match at Lord's with a grade one side strain, with Dernbach edging out competition from the likes of Graham Onions and Ajmal Shahzad to provide cover.

Dernbach, 25, made his county debut at the age of 17 and has been on the England radar for the last couple of seasons.

He was called up to join the World Cup squad ahead of the quarter-final defeat to Sri Lanka earlier this year but was not selected.

Johannesburg-born Dernbach furthered his case for senior honours by outshining several of his seam rivals to pick up nine wickets for England Lions in their recent tour match against Tillakaratne Dilshan's side.

England may not have expected to promote him to the Test squad quite so early but with injures to Anderson and Tim Bresnan and question marks also lingering over the match-fitness of Onions and Chris Woakes, he won the nod.

Yorkshire's Shahzad may have been considered the most obvious like-for-like replacement for Anderson but appears to have lost form for his county at a crucial moment.

National selector Geoff Miller said: "It's obviously disappointing to lose Jimmy Anderson for the next Test as he is world-class and the leader of our attack but we're fortunate to have a healthy stock of pace bowlers at present.

"We're hopeful Jimmy will be available for the third npower Test but in the meantime we're excited by Jade Dernbach's inclusion.

"Jade is a talented young bowler and after excelling with the England Performance Programme over the winter he enjoyed considerable success with the ball against Sri Lanka while playing for the England Lions prior to the first npower Test."

Dernbach will go head to head with Steven Finn for a place in the starting XI on Friday.

While Finn is favourite to win out on his home pitch, England will be wary of picking three tall seamers with similar attributes and could be tempted by Dernbach's skiddier style.

With back-to-back Tests meaning Anderson was never likely to feature at Lord's as soon as he felt discomfort in his side, England will now be assessing his progress ahead of the third Test at the Rose Bowl.

England's chief medical officer Dr Nick Peirce said: "The nature of Jimmy's injury is a grade one tear which is a low-end injury but given it's a side strain we need to proceed cautiously which is why he has been ruled out of the second npower Test at Lord's.

"We have also taken into account the short turnaround between Test matches and we feel it is best for Jimmy to spend the next week receiving treatment and rest in order to give him the best chance for selection for the final Test in the series.

"Once he has undertaken this period of rest and rehabilitation we will be able to make a definitive decision on his availability for the third npower Test."