England grapple with fitness concerns ahead of India game


England’s defeat to Australia on Tuesday left them in a good deal of pain, needing victory in their final two matches against form teams India and New Zealand to guarantee a semi-final spot.
While the nation nurses their wounds, some individuals will be recovering from their own ailments which will only add to Eoin Morgan’s headaches after a chastening Tuesday at Lord’s.
Adil Rashid has reported some soreness in his right shoulder. This particular complaint is one that flared up a week before the official World Cup squad was announced and led to left-arm spinner Liam Dawson jumping ahead of part-time leg spinner Joe Denly for a spot in the 15-man squad. Rashid, who was unlucky to end wicketless, conceding 49 runs in his 10 overs, will be assessed over the next few days but is expected to be available for selection on Sunday, when England take on India at Edgbaston.
As for Jofra Archer, a tight left side – the problem area for a right-arm bowler – saw him undergo a late fitness test on the morning of the Australia game. While he passed it and took one for 56 from his set of nine, the management will monitor his progress.
In an ideal world, England would be qualified by this point to allow the likes of Archer and Rashid a rest, along with bowlers Chris Woakes and Mark Wood who have always required a degree management over the last couple of years. Needing all their aces, England will be keen for the 24-year old quick to be fit for Sunday.
Outstanding in defeat once more, Ben Stokes sustained tight calves that required treatment during the latter part of his innings of 89. His dismissal, via a stunning Mitchell Starc yorker, all but ended hopes of achieving the target of 286. Thankfully, he felt immediately better after the match – physically if not emotionally – and has been declared fit for Sunday.