England suffer HUGE blow with James Anderson OUT of first Ashes Test with calf injury on eve of Australia showdown


Jimmy Anderson will miss the start of the Ashes due to a calf problem.

That means Chris Woakes and Mark Wood both play in the first Test against Australia – which starts in Brisbane at midnight on Tuesday.

James Anderson ruled out of first Ashes Test with calf injury


James Anderson ruled out of first Ashes Test with calf injurycredit: getty

squad as a whole

Joe Root (c), Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler (wk), Haseeb Hameed, Jack Leach, David Malan, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood

Anderson, 39, will be kept on ice for at least the day-night second Test in Adelaide on December 16.

He is the most dangerous to use the pink ball in floodlights, so England do not consider his absence a disaster.

Olly Pope has been preferred in place of Jonny Bairstow in the 12-man squad while spinner Jack Leach has been included in Ben Stokes.

England has placed Anderson’s absence as a ‘precautionary’.

Wicketkeeper Jos Buttler said: “Jimmy is not going to play but he is fit. It’s just a precaution.

“It’s obviously a very long series and we want someone like that to be available to play as many roles as possible. Jimmy is bowling and bowling well – I faced him in the nets and it went into a Test.” A big challenge has been matching.

“Looks like age is just a number for Jimmy in minutes. He’s in great shape, his skills are as great as ever and he’s still trying to improve and learn new things.”

But Anderson is at the forefront of England’s attack and his skill, knowledge and experience are crucial as Joe Root’s team try to reclaim the small urn.

Anderson – England’s all-time leading wicket-taker with 632 victims in 166 Tests – was ruled out of the 2019 home Ashes series with a calf strain after bowling just four overs in the first Test.

Anderson had little chance to build up his bowling fitness on this tour as rain and Covid restrictions have wiped out England’s practice matches.

The Lancashire star took part in training on Monday but Root will now have to go with a different option.

Bowling candidates who have played in GABA include Jack Leach, Stuart Broad or Ollie Robinson.

It remains to be seen whether Anderson will be fit to play in Adelaide.

The Adelaide Test could be Anderson’s 19th Test – he has taken 60 wickets in his last 18 caps in Australia.

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