Injured James Anderson to miss Ashes opener

Written by Vipin Darwade

James Anderson will miss the opening Test against Australia at the Gabba as England look to manage the workload of the 39-year-old pace bowler. The board plans to get him ready for the pink-ball Test in Adelaide that begins just four days after the end of the first fixture.

“Jimmy is fit to play, and is not carrying an injury. With five Tests in six weeks the plan was to get him ready for the second Test in Adelaide,” an ECB statement said.

His absence would leave England to choose four bowlers from Chris Woakes, Mark Wood, Ollie Robinson, Stuart Broad and Jack Leach to play alongside returning all-rounder Ben Stokes. They were already without pacemen Jofra Archer, who is not on the tour as he recovers from an elbow injury, and Olly Stone who missed out because of back surgery.

His reported omission comes a day after England captain Joe Root refused to unveil his team for the Gabba Test despite Australia confirming their starting eleven at the weekend.

“I’m 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.”

Given his age, Anderson had been unlikely to play all five Tests in the series.

The second Test in Adelaide, a pink ball match under lights, is scheduled to start on December 16 — just four days after Brisbane finishes.

Anderson has taken 60 wickets at 35.43 in 18 Tests in Australia, almost 10 runs worse than his career average of 26.62.

Australia are the current holders of the Ashes after retaining the urn following a 2-2 draw in England in 2019. They won the last series at home 4-0 in 2017/18.

About the author

Vipin Darwade