James Anderson eases England injury fears

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The Independent Online

James Anderson bowled for half-an-hour during England's net session this morning without apparent discomfort from his "minor" thigh injury.

England took the precaution of calling up Graham Onions as cover for tomorrow's fourth npower Test against India at The Oval, once their pace spearhead reported stiffness in his right leg after last weekend's series-clinching victory at Edgbaston.



Anderson did not bowl yesterday either, while his fellow seamers were put through their paces, but was involved in team fielding drills.



This morning, he bowled at near full pace before taking part in a short session of sprint training.

England captain Andrew Strauss was "comforted" to see fast bowler Anderson come through a practice session this morning and hopes he will be fit to play as the team chase a 4-0 series whitewash.

"He seems fine," the skipper told Sky Sports. "Like all these things it was a niggle and we'll have to wait and see how he is, but we're very comforted by how he came through today.



"I think he should be okay.



"It's great to see Onions back in the squad. He played a very significant part in the 2009 Ashes win and we all have high regard for him as a bowler. With him and Steven Finn, there is definitely strength in depth."



Having secured the series and the top ranking at Edgbaston last week, Strauss insists his players will not be relaxing when they round off their Test summer.



"We will approach it in the same way as we would any other Test," he added.



"We're desperate to finish the summer on a high. The work ethic over the last couple of days has been good and encouraging and I'd be very disappointed if we took our foot off the gas.



"It's always been a long-term goal to get number one so it was a special moment to achieve it. We celebrated that we'd achieved one of our goals, but now we're back training again rankings become secondary to what you do on a day-to-day basis.



"We try and win every match we play and then rankings look after themselves.



"We've got to challenge ourselves to keep improving and working hard to improve. There's always the temptation to take the foot off the gas and feel comfortable with what you've done.



"But that's not the nature of international sport, you've got to keep pushing forward."



Having reached the top of the Test ladder, England are now targeting a long stay at the summit of the game.



It has been questioned as to whether or not they can dominate as well as the West Indies did in the 1980s and the Australians did in the last decade, but Strauss is not looking that far ahead.



"Those teams created a great legacy by playing that well for a decade," he said,



"We've done it for the last couple of years. We're not trying to be seen as anything, just trying to play as well as we can.



"What happens as a result of that, we will be able to look back on in years to come."

Teams for tomorrow's fourth npower Test between England and India at The Oval, starting at 11am:

England (from): AJ Strauss (captain), AN Cook, IR Bell, KP Pietersen, EJG Morgan, RS Bopara, MJ Prior (wkt), TT Bresnan, SCJ Broad, GP Swann, JM Anderson, G Onions, ST Finn



India (from): MS Dhoni (captain, wkt), V Sehwag, G Gambhir, R Dravid, SR Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, V Kohli, A Mishra, P Kumar, S Sreesanth, I Sharma, RP Singh, P Ojha, M Patel, SK Raina



Umpires: S Taufel (Aus) and R Tucker (Aus)



Third umpire: S Davis (Aus)



Match Referee: R Madugalle (SL)



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