England’s pacer James Anderson will miss the opening Test of the Ashes 2021-2022 series against Australia at the Gabba as the board is looking ahead to manage the workload of the ace pacer. ECB is planning to prepare him for the pink ball test in Adelaide that begins just four days after the end of the opening test
“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.
The decision has been taken to avoid worsening Anderson’s condition considering the limited build-up the teams have had in the lead-up to the fixture. In the 2019 Ashes, James Anderson bowled just four overs in the opening Test at Edgbaston before a calf problem ruled him out of the rest of the Test series.
“With the limited build-up we have had so far on the tour, both he and the management didn’t want to take the risk of him playing after what had happened in 2019 at Edgbaston when he broke down on the first morning,” the statement added.
“He bowled at full capacity yesterday for just short of an hour and was in a good place physically. He will do the same again today at practice. He will stay with the Test group this week and work with the coaches at the Gabba rather than playing for the Lions.”
James Anderson scalped 60 wickets at an average of 35.43 in Australia. He played a key role in England’s last series win in Australia in 2010-2011 when he bagged 24 wickets at 26.04. He was England’s leading wicket-taker in the Ashes 2017-18 in Australia when he picked 17 wickets at 27.82.
James Anderson was all set to become the third cricketer from a touring team to play five tests at the Gabba after Courtney Walsh and Daniel Vettori. With James Anderson missing the first test of the Ashes 2021-2022 series, Chris Woakes & Stuart Broad are the two bowling options to lead England’s pace bowling attack.