Soft ground and Anderson will be a non-runner again

Woakes set to replace England swing bowler who can hardly get a game after being rested

The law of sod can rarely have been so swiftly invoked. Jimmy Anderson, who was rested from a Test match last month to preserve his body from the aches and pains of fast bowling, faces a late fitness test today before the third one-day international against Australia.

He missed the second ODI at The Oval last Sunday but, although he took no part in the optional indoor session at Edgbaston yesterday, England were keen to stress that he has not been ruled out. But, equally, they will take no chances with the niggling groin injury which he first felt when bowling at Lord's in the opening game last Friday.

If conditions underfoot are soft – and it is difficult to see them being anything else – the management will err on the side of caution. They may not yet be able to see the funny side of this but funny side there is.

The selectors copped flak, not least from the player himself, when they omitted Anderson from the side for the third Test match against the West Indies in Birmingham, citing the need for him to rest to ensure his body stayed in the best possible condition for the job. He subsequently appeared in the two ODIs that were played against West Indies but at Lord's last week was in clear discomfort.

Anderson's withdrawal today would give an unexpected opportunity to Chris Woakes, who has usually looked the part in the four ODIs he has played so far, not least in taking 6 for 45 against Australia in Brisbane last year, the second best limited-overs figures by an England bowler. Woakes has been called into the squad because of the doubts about Anderson, the withdrawal of Jade Dernbach with a side strain and the absence of Stuart Meaker, who is attending the funeral of his Surrey team-mate, Tom Maynard.

"I feel my cricket is going in the right direction and I'm a much better player than I was back then, really," said Woakes at Edgbaston yesterday.

"I've worked on a few things with the ball, particularly in one-day cricket, a few variations. I've improved technically and that has helped me put on a yard of pace. I just feel I'm a genuine all-rounder now and my game is in good order."

Woakes looks a solid, nerveless player – he hit his second ball in international cricket for six off Shaun Tait – with genuine aspirations to being an all-rounder. Towards the end of last season he looked extremely tired, having hardly had a break for three years, and early this season sustained an ankle injury when his studs stuck in the turf. But he appears to have allayed doubts about his speed.

"I definitely feel and know I've put on a yard of pace," he said. "I don't know what speed it actually is but I feel I'm consistently quicker and hitting heavier lengths."

England have been clearly the superior team in the series so far, as recognised yesterday by Australia's batsman George Bailey, who also did that rare thing in a sportsman and recognised his own shortcomings in his middle-innings partnership with Shane Watson during the defeat by England at The Oval.

In trying to preserve wickets in the middle of the innings, Bailey went too slowly and pressure increased. He said: "It was difficult, weighing up the balance of trying to keep wickets in hand so that we could build a bit of a platform to go hard – which England have done really well. But there's a balance there, and it certainly wasn't good enough – I probably put too much pressure on Watto, and we slipped too far behind to allow that platform to be set."

Edgbaston: Third ODI details

Probable teams:

England

A N Cook (capt), I R Bell, I J L Trott, R S Bopara, E J G Morgan, C Kieswetter (wkt), T T Bresnan, S C J Broad, G P Swann, J M Anderson or C R Woakes, S T Finn.

Australia

S R Watson, D A Warner, P J Forrest, M J Clarke (capt), G J Bailey, D J Hussey, M S Wade (wkt), B Lee, M G Johnson, C J McKay, X J Doherty.

Weather

Cloudy with some rain likely, although there may be sunny spells in the afternoon. Max temp: 21C.

Television details

1.30pm-10.30pm, Sky Sports 1.

Highlights

Channel 5, 12am-1.05am.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

They fled war in Syria...

...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

Kelis interview

The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea