James Anderson will miss the opening Ashes Test against Australia at the Gabba in Brisbane as the England team management is looking to manage the workload of the 39-year-old pacer.
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) also confirmed the development and said the plans is to get Anderson ready for the pink-ball Test in Adelaide, which will be the second Test of the series.
“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.
As per reports, the call to rest Anderson has been taken with the view of not risking him considering the limited build-up the teams have had in the lead-up to the fixture as in the 2019 Ashes, Anderson ended up bowling only four overs in the first Test at Edgbaston before a calf problem ruled him out of the entire series.
“With the limited build-up we have had so far on the tour, both him 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 capavity 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,” it further said.
Meanwhile, Jos Buttler too, confirmed the development. “Jimmy is not going to play but he is fit,” Buttler told reporters in Brisbane on Tuesday.
“He was bowling again today … had a few spells in the truncated match. (It’s) just a precautionary measure with an incredibly long series ahead,” he added.
When asked whether Anderson was always going to be rested, Buttler said: “All I’ve seen is Jimmy has been bowling and bowling well… He looks good to me but sorry I can’t answer that question.”
Buttler said that pacer Stuart Broad and all-rounder Ben Stokes were both fit and available for selection. “Ben is fit to play. He’s been performing very nicely in the nets. It’s a massive plus for us as a side,” said Buttler.
Notably, Anderson has scalped 60 wickets, averaging 35.43, in Australia and had played a significant role in the Three Lion’s last series win in Australia in 2010-11 when he had scalped 24 wickets.
Australia: Pat Cummins (c), Steve Smith (vc), Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Marcus Harris, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Michael Neser, Tim Paine, Jhye Richardson, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, David Warner
England: Joe Root (c), James Anderson, Jonathan Bairstow, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Haseeb Hameed, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Dawid Malan, Craig Overton, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood
First Test: December 8-12, The Gabba
Second Test: December 16-20, Adelaide Oval
Third Test: December 26-30, MCG
Fourth Test: January 5-9, SCG
Fifth Test: January 14-18, TBD