“Jimmy Anderson is 100 per cent,” says Broad

Stuart Broad has said that James Anderson is fit, despite the spearhead spending a period off the field on day three.

James Anderson and Stuart Broad took two and three wickets respectively in Australia's first innings   -  Getty Images

Stuart Broad has allayed injury concern over James Anderson, who had appeared to struggle with a side injury before lunch on day three.

The word from the England camp was that their leading Test wicket-taker was fine, though he bowled only four overs in the afternoon session and spent time off the field while the Australia captain Steve Smith anchored his team’s pursuit of 302 with an unbeaten 141.

Fellow paceman Broad, who was England’s standout bowler in the first innings with figures of 25-10-49-3, stated that there was nothing wrong with Anderson.

Australia v England 1st Test scorecard

"Jimmy Anderson is 100 per cent. He is very fit and thought he challenged the batsman for the whole day," Broad told BT Sport.

"He bowled a lot, it's been hot and you have to manage your workload. The bloke has bowled 30 overs in an innings and we'd bowled that last hour up to lunch."

After Australia had taken a 26-run first-innings lead, Josh Hazlewood picked the wickets of Alastair Cook and James Vince with the new ball, to reduce England to 33-2 at stumps on day three. Despite this setback to his team on a tough day’s cricket at the Gabba, Broad believes that the first Ashes Test is in the balance.

"The game is very much in the balance but in our hands a little bit. We are a couple of guys away from getting a big score and putting Australia under pressure." he added.

Broad also gave backed Cook after the opener played a poor shot to throw his wicket away, falling for a single-digit score for the second time in the match.

"No concerns [about him]." he said of the former skipper. "Not at all. We know what he can do in Australia.

"He feels good about his game. He got a good ball first innings and tonight was one of those tricky periods to bat.

"We know his strengths and he's a strong character mentally. He's been brilliant off the field, enjoying his cricket, free of the stress of captaincy. He's relaxed and loving it. His time will come here, I'm sure."