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Jimmy Anderson unlikely for second Test

Press AssociationPress Association 14/11/2016

England are planning to delay James Anderson's Test return and stick with an unchanged team against India in Vizag.

Anderson, his country's all-time leading wicket-taker, has done enough in the nets during the first Test in Rajkot since his arrival after recovering from a stress fracture of his shoulder to convince England's medical team he is ready to play this week if needed.

But after England's admirable performance to take the honours in a drawn series opener - one Trevor Bayliss describes as the best in his 18-month tenure as coach - the same XI is set to take the field again on Thursday.

There appears little doubt that the pitch this week will favour spin significantly more than in Rajkot.

Resultantly England are expected to again deploy three spinners and three seamers, including four all-rounders who will ensure as much batting depth as possible on a surface sure to play to the strengths of the hosts.

That means Anderson will have another week to ready himself for his first match in more than three months - the third Test in Mohali - where it remains to be seen whether predictions of conditions to suit the pace bowlers is born out.

Bayliss made clear that the management anticipate retaining the same line-up, having switched only Gary Ballance for debutant opener Haseeb Hameed following a shock defeat to Bangladesh in Dhaka, before arriving in India.

"We did say before Bangladesh that seven Tests in eight weeks would be difficult, and we would change guys, but I'm not envisaging any changes," he said.

"We will look at Jimmy. He''s coming along pretty well."

England finished the first Test on the front foot on Sunday, with India digging deep on 172 for six to close out the stalemate, thanks to an unbeaten 49 from Kohli.

Bayliss added: "I thought, effort-wise, it's probably the best performance since I have been with the team.

"The energy and effort over five days was close to complete."

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