Ashes: James Anderson misses first Test against Australia

Author : rian26
Publish Date : 2021-12-07 00:00:00

Ashes: James Anderson misses first Test against Australia

The Ashes: Australia v England, first Test
Venue: Gabba, Brisbane Dates: 8-12 December Time: 00:00 GMT
Coverage: Daily highlights show on BBC iPlayer, ball-by-ball commentary on Test Match Special, plus live text commentary, UK-only clips, features and analysis on the BBC Sport website and app
England's leading wicket-taker James Anderson has been rested for the first Ashes Test against Australia, with Ollie Pope preferred to Jonny Bairstow in the 12-man squad.

Spinner Jack Leach is included as is Ben Stokes, who has has not played any meaningful cricket since July.

The match, at the Gabba in Brisbane, starts at 00:00 GMT on Wednesday.

Seam bowler Anderson, 39, is not injured but England are keen to manage his workload.

England are looking to regain the Ashes, which Australia retained with a 2-2 draw in the UK in 2019.

Anderson has said he is aiming to play in three of the five Tests on his fifth trip down under.

The second Test, a day-nighter in Adelaide, begins only four days after the end of the first Test and may favour Anderson and England more with more movement expected for the bowlers.

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"Jimmy's not going to play but he is fit. It's just precautionary," said wicketkeeper Jos Buttler

"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 bowling well - I faced him in the nets and that's been a great challenge going into a Test match.

"It seems that 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."

Anderson pulled up injured on the first morning of the first Ashes Test at Edgbaston in 2019 and played no further part in the series.

Writing on Instagram, Anderson said: "Gutted to be missing the first Test but it's a long series with a lot of cricket to be played."

Australia captain Pat Cummins, leading his team for the first time in the wake of Tim Paine standing down from the role, said he would have preferred to see Anderson 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," he said.

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

"We've got some of the greats of all time 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."

England coach Chris Silverwood has opted for potential over experience in preferring 23-year-old Pope, who averages 32.16 in his first 20 caps, over 32-year-old Bairstow, who scored a fine century in Perth in 2017 but has been in indifferent form since his Test recall earlier this year.

Wicketkeeper Alex Carey is set to make his debut for Australia after being called into the squad as a replacement for Paine.

England have not won at the Gabba since 1986, though Australia did surrender a 33-year unbeaten record on that ground when they lost to India in January.

Test Match Special will provide ball-by-ball commentary on every match via BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra, Radio 4 LW, online and the BBC Sounds app.

There will also be UK-only in-play clips available through the BBC Sport's live text commentary, as well as a daily highlights show on BBC iPlayer from 17:00 GMT.

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


BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew

Anderson has been bothered by a minor calf injury from the start of the tour and although he was considered fit to play and was able to bowl in the nets on Tuesday, to do so is considered too risky at this early stage and with a day-night match in Adelaide to follow.

He has a poor record at the Gabba so England's caution is understandable. Might they go into the game without both Broad and Anderson? It's possible, but the storms that are forecast every day might mean that Leach misses out and there is also uncertainty about how much Stokes can contribute with the ball.

Pope is being preferred to Bairstow, so one of Broad, Mark Wood and Jack Leach will be carrying the drinks.

Category :sports

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