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Anderson backs England to overcome Stokes loss

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BIRMINGHAM: James Anderson has insisted England have the ability to manage without injured all-rounder Ben Stokes during the third Test against Pakistan at Edgbaston.

England levelled the four-match series at 1-1 thanks to a commanding 330-run win in the second Test at Old Trafford.

But victory was marred slightly for the hosts by the sight of Stokes limping off on the final day with a calf injury.

Anderson, however, remained optimistic about England’s chances ahead of the third Test, which starts at Edgbaston on Wednesday.

“(It was) really positive the way we came out of that Old Trafford Test, unfortunate that we lost Ben Stokes in that game to injury but, all in all, just a really strong team performance,” Anderson told reporters in Birmingham on Monday.

“He’s a big loss, he just adds that balance to the team,” added Anderson, England’s all-time leading Test wicket-taker.

“He can come in at six and him being able to bowl plenty of overs does add that healthy balance to the side.

“But we’ve played without him before and coped without him before so we’re going to have to do that this week. Hopefully he’ll be well on the road to recovery and play at The Oval (the venue for the fourth Test).”

Joe Root’s 254 and a hundred from captain Alastair Cook laid the platform for England to bounce back from their 75-run defeat by Pakistan in the first Test at Lord’s.

“The batsmen talked about, before the game, showing the character they’ve got and what they are made of and their skills, which they completely did, led by Joe Root and Cooky,” said Anderson.

“(It was) just a really strong performance and something that we can hopefully build on in the coming weeks.”

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