Beleaguered England were dealt a blow today with pace spearhead James Anderson being ruled out of the fifth and final cricket Test against hosts India starting on 16 December.

Anderson, England’s all-time highest wicket-taker in Tests, will miss the inconsequential game owing to “body soreness”, according to skipper Alastair Cook.

b’Anderson celebrates a wicket in this file picture. AFP’

The pacer had been out since August with a shoulder injury before returning to play the second Test of the five-match series in India.

“Unfortunately Jimmy is ruled out – he’s picked up body soreness from the last game. So he’s not going to be risked. It is a bit of everything, ankle and shoulder. We are trying to look after him,” said captain Cook at the pre-match press conference.

Anderson won’t be missed by Indian fans after his comments on Virat Kohli’s technical deficiencies were answered with a double-ton by the batsman. He also got into a spat with Ravi Ashwin – the Indian vice-captain wasn’t too pleased with the comments.

A decision on Stuart Broad will be taken after practice today. Broad missed the last two Tests with a tendon strain in his right foot, but will look to prove his fitness during England’s final training session.

India took an unassailable 3-0 lead in the series with an innings victory in the fourth Test in Mumbai.

Feature image source: AFP