Ashes: James Anderson will not play in the opening Test against Australia
England’s best wicket-taker, James Anderson, has been rested for the first Ashes Test against Australia, with Ollie Pope replacing Jonny Bairstow in the 12-man squad.
Jack Leach, a spinner, is in the squad, as is Ben Stokes, who hasn’t played meaningful cricket since July.
The match will begin at 00:00 GMT on Wednesday at the Gabba in Brisbane.
Anderson, the 39-year-old seam bowler, is not hurt, but England wants to limit his workload. England is attempting to reclaim the Ashes, which Australia won in a 2-2 draw in the United Kingdom in 2019.
Anderson has stated that on his fifth trip to Australia, he hopes to feature in three of the five Tests.
The second test, a day-nighter in Adelaide, starts barely four days after the first and may favour Anderson and England more because of the bowlers’ predicted movement.
Anderson was hurt on the first morning of the first Ashes Test in 2019 at Edgbaston and did not return for the rest of the series.
Australia captain Pat Cummins, who is leading his side for the first time since Tim Paine stepped down, said he would have loved to see Anderson in the opposition attack.
England coach Chris Silverwood has chosen the 23-year-old Pope 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. Pope averaged 32.16 in his first 20 caps.
After being called into the squad as a substitute for Paine, wicketkeeper Alex Carey is ready to make his debut for Australia. England hasn’t won at the Gabba since 1986. However, Australia did lose their 33-year unbroken record there in January when they were defeated by India.