England fast bowler James Anderson is set to miss the first Test match of the upcoming Ashes series. The 39-year-old’s absence is a big blow for the England team, who were hoping to start the Gabba Test in Brisbane on a bright note. A minor calf injury has deemed Anderson unfit. The right-arm fast bowler is Test cricket’s most prolific pacer with 632 wickets to his name. He is also England’s most experienced player in the Ashes squad.
Chris Woakes, Ollie Robinson, Stuart Broad, Mark Wood, and Craig Overton are the other pacers in the England squad. However, as per reports, Chris Woakes is likely to partner Mark Wood and Ollie Robinson. Speaking about Anderson, he went through his usual routine in the nets for close to one hour. However, he was not at his peak fitness. England wants their ace pacer available for the Day-Night Test in Adelaide thus have decided to rest him from the first test. The same calf injury had forced Anderson to miss the 2019 series.
England skipper Joe Root heaped praise on James Anderson and said he is one of the best bowlers in the world, adding that they want him in the team but will not risk hit fitness. “One thing I will say is, you look at Jimmy’s record over the last couple of years, and it’s got better and better and better. He might be getting older, but he’s still bowling just as well, if not better.
“I think it’s going to be really key we look to play our best team for what’s in front of us throughout the whole series, and whether conditions dictate that, whether the grounds dictate that, whether fitness dictates that, I think we’re just going to have to be really smart and savvy about it.
“Ultimately, we want to play our best team, and Jimmy Anderson is one of the best bowlers in the world,” Root had said last month.
Meanwhile, Australia have announced their playing XI for the first test. Alex Carey will be the wicket-keeper of the side, with Travis Head also in the team. However, when Root was asked to reveal the same, the skipper denied “I am not into mind games. I’m just not in a position right now to name my team,” Root told journalists.
“Fair play that they’ve announced their eleven. Doesn’t really concern me or change anything from our perspective. We’ll conduct our business how we want to and let you know when we’re ready. “