England’s James Anderson to miss first Ashes test match
James Anderson and Jonny Bairstow left out of squad in opening Ashes test
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Jonny Bairstow has also been left out of the squad with the selectors preferring Ollie Pope.
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’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.”
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.
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.
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