Sidebottom battles for fitness as auld enemy lie in wait

There will be no lone piper playing "Flower of Scotland" or tartan army singing passionately in the stands before today's inaugural one-day international between Scotland and England at The Grange in Edinburgh. Cricket, unlike rugby and football, doesn't really stir such cross-border emotion. But there is the potential for an upset. Sadly, there always is with England's fickle one-day team.

England's victory over South Africa in the final Test a week ago will have done wonders for the confidence of Kevin Pietersen, but the team's new captain will, weather permitting, take on the auld enemy without two of his most reliable players. Pietersen's predecessor Paul Collingwood is currently in the middle of a four-match ban as a penalty for England's slow over-rate during the one-day series against New Zealand, while Ryan Sidebottom is once again struggling with injury.

Collingwood will return for England's second one-dayer against South Africa in Nottingham on 26 August but there are growing fears about the welfare of Sidebottom, who continues to pick up niggling injuries. The worry is that Sidebottom's body is struggling to cope with the extra demands international cricket places on it. In the past couple of months the 30-year-old has had back, neck, shoulder, hip and groin problems; injuries that forced him to miss a couple of England's limited-over matches against New Zealand and two Tests against South Africa. Sidebottom's current complaint, a hip/groin injury, is being assessed at the National Performance Centre in Loughborough and he will need to pass a fitness test on Tuesday if he is to join up with Pietersen's squad as they prepare for Friday's first one-dayer against South Africa at Headingley.

"Ryan is in better physical shape than he was 12 months ago, but he has done a lot of work and bowled a lot of overs, especially in Test matches," said Peter Moores, the England coach. "He's had a little bit of groin pain and a little bit of neck pain, so we need to get everything cleared up so that when he starts playing again he'll be fine for the next period of time. It's all come from volume of work – bowling is a stressful business.

"He's worked hard over the last 16 months but picked up three or four niggles at the same time, then started to compensate in the way he bowls. That's why we have to get everything cleared up so when he plays he's fully fit. The plan is for him to be available for selection when we get to Leeds, but our medical staff is assessing him all the time.

As cover for Sidebottom and Chris Tremlett, who has a heel injury, England have called up Tim Bresnan, the Yorkshire all-rounder. Bresnan played in four one-dayers and a Twenty20 international against Sri Lanka in 2006 and failed to impress but he is having an excellent summer for Yorkshire. In the County Championship the 23-year-old has scored 442 runs at an average of 36.83 and taken 40 wickets at a cost of 26.42. He also performed well in the Friends Provident Trophy: 18 wickets at an average of 18.

"Tim is a bit older and a bit wiser now, and he's probably gained an extra yard of pace, which you need in international cricket," explained Moores. "We have our own rankings and he's second behind Steve Harmison in one-day cricket. He's also a three-dimensional player who bats, bowls and fields.

"He'll have learnt a lot from those five games he played against Sri Lanka. We wouldn't have picked him if we weren't prepared to play him." Matthew Prior is set to open the batting on his return to the England team, giving the side added impetus at the top of the order. Samit Patel, Nottinghamshire's exciting young spinning all-rounder, could make his England debut, but only at the expense of Graeme Swann, his county team-mate.

Possible England team: K P Pietersen, A N Cook, M J Prior, I R Bell, R S Bopara, O A Shah, A Flintoff, L J Wright, S C J Broad, G P Swann, J S Anderson.

News
A 1930 image of the Karl Albrecht Spiritousen and Lebensmittel shop, Essen. The shop was opened by Karl and Theo Albrecht’s mother; the brothers later founded Aldi
people
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmA cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Arts and Entertainment
Flora Spencer-Longhurst as Lavinia, William Houston as Titus Andronicus and Dyfan Dwyfor as Lucius
theatreThe Shakespeare play that proved too much for more than 100 people
News
exclusivePunk icon Viv Albertine on Sid Vicious, complacent white men, and why free love led to rape
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Stir crazy: Noel Fielding in 'Luxury Comedy 2: Tales from Painted Hawaii'
comedyAs ‘Luxury Comedy’ returns, Noel Fielding on why mainstream success scares him and what the future holds for 'The Boosh'
Life and Style
Flow chart: Karl Landsteiner discovered blood types in 1900, yet scientists have still not come up with an explanation for their existence
lifeAll of us have one. Yet even now, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Arts and Entertainment
'Weird Al' Yankovic, or Alfred Matthew, at the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival Screening of
musicHis latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do our experts think he’s missed out?
Sport
New Real Madrid signing James Rodríguez with club president Florentino Perez
sportColombian World Cup star completes £63m move to Spain
Travel
Hotel Tour d’Auvergne in Paris launches pay-what-you-want
travelIt seems fraught with financial risk, but the policy has its benefits
Arts and Entertainment
booksThe best children's books for this summer
Life and Style
News to me: family events were recorded in the personal columns
techFamily events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped that
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn