London: England's selectors could be forced into a late change of plan for next week's first Test against the West Indies at Lord's after it emerged allrounder Ravi Bopara had torn a thigh muscle. England are due to name a 13-man squad for the first of a three-Test series on Sunday.
After bowling an over for Essex against Kent at Chelmsford on Friday, medium-pacer Bopara left the field but did return on Saturday to bat with a runner, only to be run out for 19. An Essex statement issued before play started on Saturday said: "Bopara has a slight tear in his right quadriceps, but has not ruled himself out of selection for the first Test."
Should Bopara be unavailable to bat at No. 6, England could stick with spin-bowling allrounder Samit Patel, who appeared in the team's last two Tests in Sri Lanka when the Essex man was ruled out with a side strain.
Alternatively, they could turn to the uncapped James Taylor, who as captain of the second-string England Lions scored 118 against the West Indies at Northampton on Friday in the tourists' final warm-up match before heading to Lord's.
Jonny Bairstow, who has played limited overs international cricket for England but has yet to make his Test debut, could also come into consideration after making fifty while sharing a century stand with Taylor at Northampton.