England’s James Anderson to miss first Ashes test match

James Anderson and Jonny Bairstow left out of squad in opening Ashes test

Watch more of our videos on Shots!
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

England fast bowler and all-time leading test wicket-taker James Anderson will be rested for England’s first test match against Australia.

Jonny Bairstow has also been left out of the squad with the selectors preferring Ollie Pope.

Bairstow, right, has also been omitted from the first test matchBairstow, right, has also been omitted from the first test match
Bairstow, right, has also been omitted from the first test match

England begin their 72nd Ashes campaign on Wednesday 8 December at 12am GMT and will hope to win back the urn that Australia have had since 2018, but will do so without their veteran bowler.

Anderson, 39, is not said to be injured but England are looking to manage his workload and the seam bowler has stated he has hopes of playing three of the fives Tests.

The second of the five Ashes tests will begin just four days after the end of the first and it is possible that the conditions will favour the Lancashire bowler as there is expected to be more movement on the ball.

James Anderson, who has 632 international test wickets, has had a minor calf injury since landing in Australia and, even though he was considered fit enough to play and has been bowling in the nets, Anderson does not have the best record at the Gabba, so England appear to have taken the cautious option and will hopefully use their leading bowler in the following test in Adelaide on 16 December.

Anderson has 632 international test wicketsAnderson has 632 international test wickets
Anderson has 632 international test wickets

Anderson’s average at the Gabba is 75.14 compared to 29.50 in Adelaide.

What’s been said?

Anderson’s teammate and England wicketkeeper Jos Buttler has said: “Jimmy’s not going to play but he is fit. It’s just precautionary.

“It’s obviously a very long series and we want a guy like that to be available to play as much of a part as possible, Jimmy’s been bowling and blowing well - I faced him in the nets and that’s been a great challenge going into a Test match.

“It seems age is just a number for Jimmy at the minute. He’s in fantastic shape, his skills are brilliant as always and he still seems to be trying to improve and learn new things.”

Jimmy in the 2010/11 Ashes seriesJimmy in the 2010/11 Ashes series
Jimmy in the 2010/11 Ashes series

Pat Cummins, Australia’s new test captain, has said he would have preferred to see Jimmy in the opposition attack:

“He’s obviously a great player and it’s a shame that he won’t be out there tomorrow, but it doesn’t change what we are going to do.

I look around our team and we’ve got a pretty special side.

“We’ve got some of the greats of Australian cricket in our changing room and when you get most of them clicking we’re going to be a pretty tough team to beat.”

Australian wicket-keeper Alex Carey is looking set to make his Test debut for Australia after being called into the squad to replace former captain Tim Paine.

England squad:

Joe Root (c) , Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler(wk), Haseeb Hameed, Jack Leach, Dawid Malan, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood

What are the fans saying regarding Anderson’s absence?

@squadling72 said: “Keeping him fresh for the day/night test seems like the sensible thing to do.”

@jcampbell91815 said: “surely you want to start the series off with your strongest side?! Still saying he’s fit doesn’t make any sense!”

@Fancricket12 tweeted: “Just looking at the weather at the Gabba, his wobble may have worked.”

@cricollie tweeted “This is not good news at all but by the sounds of it a precautionary measure, every cloud and all that, Woakes makes the batting a lot more solid and he will take over from Anderson soon so we need to see what he can do overseas.”

When is the first Ashes test?

England will play Australia at the Gabba in Brisbane on Wednesday 8 December at midnight GMT.

A message from the editor:

Thank you for reading. NationalWorld is a new national news brand, produced by a team of journalists, editors, video producers and designers who live and work across the UK. Find out more about who’s who in the team, and our editorial values. We want to start a community among our readers, so please follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and keep the conversation going. You can also sign up to our newsletters and get a curated selection of our best reads to your inbox every day.