James Anderson will miss the opening ash test in Brisbane as England will look to manage their workload before five tests in six weeks; Tourists insist that the 39-year-old seamer is fit to play, but they have inked in the second day-night test in Adelaide; Ollie Pope preferred Jonny Bairstow in the 12-man team
James Anderson to miss England’s first Ash Test against Australia in Brisbane
England record test player James Anderson will miss the Ashes’ first game in Brisbane.
England insist the 39-year-old Anderson is fit enough to play despite reports of a calf injury, but they are opting to manage it before five Tests in six weeks, and the leader is now ready to return. for the second Day-Night Test in Adelaide starting December 16. .
England have named a 12-man team to the game at the Gabba, with closers Stuart Broad, Mark Wood, Chris Woakes and Ollie Robinson and spinner Jack Leach vying for the bowling spots.
Ollie Pope has been preferred to Jonny Bairstow in the middle order.
England goalkeeper and hitter Jos Buttler said of Anderson: “Jimmy isn’t going to play, but he’s in shape. It’s just a precaution. It’s obviously a very long series and we want a guy like that to be available to play as much of it as possible. .
“Jimmy has been playing and playing well. I faced him on the networks and it has been a great challenge to get into a test match. It seems that age is just a number for Jimmy at the moment.
“He’s in fantastic shape, his skills are brilliant as ever and he still seems to be trying to improve and learn new things.
“That hunger doesn’t seem to waver at all, he still gets in a bad mood if he throws a bad ball and his competitiveness is incredibly high in everything he does, let alone on a cricket ground.
“I certainly see him wanting to continue for as long as he can and there doesn’t seem to be anything in his way at the moment.”
Anderson collapsed on the first morning of Ashes 2019 in Edgbaston with a recurrence of a calf injury and England are conscious of protecting one of their key assets as they look to win a series in Australia for the first time since 2010/11.
A team spokesman said: “Jimmy is fit to play and has no injuries. With five Tests in six weeks, the plan was to prepare him for the second Test in Adelaide.”
“With the limited buildup we’ve had so far on tour, both he and management didn’t want to risk me playing after what happened in 2019 at Edgbaston, when it collapsed the first morning.
“Yesterday he played at full capacity for just under an hour and was in a good physical place. Today he will do the same again in training.
“He will stay with the test group this week and will work with the coaches at The Gabba.”
England’s main selection dilemma now is whether to play four front-line closers alongside the all-rounder Stokes or pick the left-armed player Leach.
Stokes hasn’t played significant cricket since July, so if England have concerns about him taking the role of fourth closer, that could mean Leach is missing.
On Stokes, Buttler added: “He’s fit to play. He’s done well in the nets and in the warm-up game. He looks fit, strong, he’s bowling well and hitting the ball well. It’s a huge advantage. for us that he is available.
“He brings a lot to the team, not just with his skills on the field, but also with his character. Having him back is a huge boost for everyone.”