James Anderson, England’s pace spearhead, will not be playing the first
England versus Australia Ashes Test beginning in Brisbane on Monday. The
decision is in line with the English cricket team’s bid to manage workload of
cricketers. The team management believes that by resting out the first Test,
Anderson will be better prepared for the next pink-ball test in Adelaide.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) issued a statement saying, “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.” The cricket board’s
decision also took into account that England had made “limited” preparations
ahead of the first Test with the weather playing spoilsport.

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“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 English
team’s statement read.  

“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 has a key role to play if England are to win the Ashes Down
Under for the first time since 2010–11. In that tournament, James Anderson had
taken 24 wickets at 26.04 when Andrew Strauss-led England won the Ashes in Australia
more than a decade ago.

Jos Butler, England’s vice-captain, said, “Just with the build-up everyone has
had, the guys just want to make sure everyone is perfect to go.”

“Jimmy’s not going to play but he is fit. Obviously, it’s a very long
series and we want a guy like that to be available for as much of it as
possible, so think it’s a bit precautionary. He bowled well yesterday and will
bowl again today.”