After the fourth Ashes Test ended in a draw in Sydney, James Anderson has stated that his teammate, Ben Stokes is hopeful of playing the final game in the series despite the injury concern. The England all-rounder sustained a side strain while bowling in the pink-ball Test at Sydney Cricket Ground.
The fourth Test of the five-match series between Australia and England ended in a draw after James Anderson and Stuart Broad fought brilliantly against the Pat Cummins-led side in the last three overs. As the Sydney Test match ended in a draw, England also avoided a possible whitewash against Australia in the Ashes 2021-2022.
However, England have got a lot of injury concerns to deal with ahead of the final Test match in the ongoing Ashes series. Wicket-keeper batsman Jos Buttler has been ruled out of the fifth Ashes Test in Hobart due to a fractured left index finger, and he will fly back to England for further medical assistance.
England all-rounder Ben Stokes and middle-order batsman Jonny Bairstow are also in doubt for the fifth Test due to injuries which they sustained during the day-night Test in Sydney. Bairstow got struck on his thumb by Pat Cummins on Day 3, while Stokes sustained a side strain while bowling in the Sydney Test. The England all-rounder did not bowl in the second innings of the fourth Ashes Test.
Meanwhile, James Anderson stated that Stokes is hopeful of featuring in the final Test despite his injury concern.
"He's already saying that it feels a bit better. He's still got his sights on playing that fifth Test," Anderson told the BBC on Sunday.
Stokes displayed a brilliant batting performance in the Sydney Test as he notched up half-centuries in both innings of the fixture. In the first innings of the pink-ball Test in Sydney, Stokes also partnered for a crucial 128-run stand along with Bairstow.
Anderson further heaped praise on Stokes’ commitment towards the England cricket team.
"It shows what playing for this team means to him. Even though we're 3-0 down. It would be very easy for him to say 'I've pulled my side, I'll go home and get it sorted. If you've never pulled your side, you don't know what pain like that is like. Every breath, you feel it. There are certain movements that are really painful," Anderson added.
The fifth and final Test of the Ashes series is scheduled to begin on January 14 in Hobart.