James Anderson ready to miss Ireland Test and ‘desperate’ to make Ashes opener

By Sports Desk May 17, 2023

James Anderson is ready to sit out England’s first Test of the summer against Ireland but is confident a groin strain picked up on county duty will not hold him back from next month’s Ashes opener.

The country’s record wicket-taker pulled up sore during day one of Lancashire’s LV= County Championship clash against Somerset last week and sat out the remainder of the clash.

His absence brought back memories of the 2019 series against Australia, when he battled back from a torn calf only to break down again on the first morning of the first Test and bring an early end to his summer.

Scans allayed the worst of those fears and even allowed the 40-year-old to appear in a 15-man squad for the one-off Lord’s Test against Ireland on June 1, but England may ultimately be happier to wrap their lead seamer in cotton wool ahead of the Ashes opener at Edgbaston two weeks later.

“I think I will be fit for the Ireland game. Whether I play or not is probably another matter really. I definitely don’t want to risk it,” he said, at an appearance for new England sponsors Radox.

“I am desperate to be fit for the first Ashes Test. If that means missing the Ireland Test, so be it.

“I feel good. I had a scan on the second day of that game – it was a little groin strain. It’s a 10-day recovery period, and I’m rehabbing already, running next week.

“It was the best result of a bad situation. That situation (in 2019) was a different injury, a more serious injury. I ripped my calf earlier that summer, and it was a real push to try to get fit for that first Test. I don’t feel like this is anywhere near that severity.”

Anderson was making his fourth appearance of the county season when he went down at Emirates Old Trafford, tuning up nicely with 16 wickets, and realised instantly he needed to withdraw.

“I was disappointed to have to pull out of a game but, with what’s to come in the summer, it was actually a pretty good result,” he said.

“It was weird how it worked out. The last ball of my spell I felt something not quite right. I came straight off, and then we came pretty much straight off for rain after that. I pulled up the next day and it wasn’t right. I went for a scan that night and it showed a strain, so there was no point risking it.”

Anderson’s likely absence against Ireland creates opportunities elsewhere, with the returning pace pair of Chris Woakes and Matthew Potts eager for action as they seek to force their way back in.

:: Anderson was speaking at a partnership launch announcing Radox as an official partner of England Cricket. Radox will be keeping cricketers and fans feeling refreshed this summer.

Related items

  • Tall order – England opt for height in attack for fourth Test against India Tall order – England opt for height in attack for fourth Test against India

    England have put an emphasis on height in selecting seamer Ollie Robinson and off-spinner Shoaib Bashir for the fourth Test against India on a pitch expected to offer turn and variable bounce.

    The surface in Ranchi was described on Wednesday by Ben Stokes as “like nothing I’ve ever seen before” 48 hours before the start of the Test, with cracks running down one side of the cut strip.

    After a second inspection on Thursday alongside head coach Brendon McCullum and selector Luke Wright, England captain Stokes elected to keep faith with two seamers as Robinson partners James Anderson.

    Robinson and Bashir are both well over 6ft and the bounce they can extract has earned them the nod over skiddier pair Mark Wood and Rehan Ahmed as England look to hit back from a heavy defeat in Rajkot.

    “We get asked about the pitch and we give our opinion but that doesn’t mean we are going in with too many preconceived ideas,” Stokes said. “The pitch could be as flat as a pancake, who knows?

    “If it is, we will adapt to that. We do like to look at the pitch two days out and one day out, because that’s how we like to pick our XIs. Looking at that, I think there is going to be assistance for spin.

    “But I think also it looks like someone like Bash, who releases the ball from such a high release point, the extra bounce that he gets we feel is going to bring us more into the game.

    “I also feel having two seamers gives us a good chance purely because of Ollie Robinson’s release height and his relentlessness with his areas.”

    The selection of Robinson, who has not played competitively since the third Ashes Test in July, and evergreen Anderson may lessen the need for Stokes to resume his career as a fully-fledged all-rounder.

    Despite reporting no soreness after a 35-minute spell of bowling full tilt on Wednesday, Stokes was coy about if he would give his side, trailing 2-1 in the five-match series, another seam option.

    “I’ve pulled up really well,” Stokes told the BBC. “It’s another step forward for me in terms of the ball. As keen as I am to get there, I do have to be very sensible about it.”

    Bashir took four wickets in his debut for England in the second Test in Visakhapatnam before bring dropped in Rajkot but he partners slow left-armer Tom Hartley as the tourists’ two main spinners.

    That means no room for Ahmed, who played in the first three Tests and took 11 wickets at an average of 44, although Stokes insisted the young leg-spinner’s absence was no reflection on how he has performed.

    “He’s gone out and tried everything that we’ve asked of him,” Stokes said. “The way in which he has taken the game on with the ball is something I’ve been very, very impressed with.

    “I think he’ll take a lot of learnings out of these three games, which will only progress his career, rather than not being the person who bowled in that situation, if that makes sense.”

    Despite bowling 38 overs in the 434-run loss in Rajkot and just four days’ rest between the end of the third Test and start of the fourth, Anderson retains his spot.

    Anderson needs just four more wickets to become the first fast bowler in history to reach 700 in Tests and Stokes marvelled at the 41-year-old’s professionalism and longevity.

    “If you’re a young fast bowler, Jimmy Anderson is the one person who you want as your role model,” Stokes added. “Not only the amount of wickets he’s got but the fact he can keep going at his age.

    “Even saying approaching 700 Test wickets as a fast bowler is incredible. He’ll know that but I don’t think that will be at the top of his mind for this week, just because of where we’re at in the series.”

  • Guyana Harpy Eagles and West Indies Academy evenly matched as play resumes on Day 2 Guyana Harpy Eagles and West Indies Academy evenly matched as play resumes on Day 2

    The West Indies Championship second-round encounter between Guyana Harpy Eagles and West Indies Academy is set for an intriguing battle as play resumes on Thursday at the Coolidge Cricket Ground in Antigua. The match remains finely poised, with both teams showing resilience in their performances.

    As the West Indies Academy prepares to continue from their overnight score of 96-4 in response to the Harpy Eagles' total of 175 all out, the balance of the game hangs in the air. Wednesday's play saw Joshua James emerging as the standout player, securing figures of 4-43 to limit Guyana to a total below 200. Johann Layne (2-27) and Joshua Bishop (2-22) also played crucial roles in restricting the Harpy Eagles' batsmen, preventing any significant contributions.

    For the Harpy Eagles, RJ Ali Mohammed top-scored with 30, while Matthew Nandu and the duo of Tevin Imlach and Kevin Sinclair each chipped in with scores of 28 and 24, respectively. Despite their efforts, none of the Guyana batters managed to make a substantial impact on the scoreboard.

    The West Indies Academy faced a similar challenge when they took to the crease, with Rashawn Worrell leading the scorers with an unbeaten 34. Joshua Bishop will resume his innings on 33, and the pair aims to put their team in a commanding position as play continues on Thursday.

    Notably, Kevin Sinclair's impressive bowling performance of 4-32 has played a pivotal role in keeping Guyana in the game.

  • Leeward Islands Hurricanes in commanding position as play resumes against Trinidad and Tobago in West Indies Championship Leeward Islands Hurricanes in commanding position as play resumes against Trinidad and Tobago in West Indies Championship

    The Leeward Islands Hurricanes are set to resume their West Indies Championship second-round match against Trinidad and Tobago Red Force at Warner Park in St Kitts, holding a position of strength after an impressive bowling display on Day 1.

    As play resumes on Day 2, the Hurricanes find themselves in a favorable position at 105-1, just 32 runs behind the Red Force's first innings score of 137. Kieran Powell, standing strong with a score of 54, and Keacy Carty, with an overnight score of 11, will look to capitalize on the Hurricanes' advantageous position. The only wicket lost on Wednesday was that of Mikyle Louis, who contributed 32 runs.

    The Hurricanes' dominance can be attributed to their formidable bowling attack, which successfully restricted Trinidad and Tobago to a modest total of 137. Colin Archibald led the charge with figures of 3-28, supported by Jeremiah Louis (3-38), Daniel Doram (2-32), and Rahkeem Cornwall, who delivered an exceptional performance with figures of 2-5 from the three overs he bowled.

    Trinidad and Tobago's batting struggles were evident, with Jyd Goolie top-scoring at 30, while Joshua Da Silva and Terrance Hinds contributed 23 and 22, respectively. Some late resistance from the tail-enders, Anderson Phillip and Jayden Seales, who scored 15 each, prevented Trinidad and Tobago from facing even greater embarrassment.

    As the Hurricanes aim to build on their advantageous position, the stage is set for an intriguing continuation of the West Indies Championship match at Warner Park. With a solid batting foundation and a formidable bowling lineup, the Hurricanes look poised to extend their dominance over Trinidad and Tobago in pursuit of a convincing victory.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.