Ashes 2019: Harris points finger at Anderson over fitness call

By Sports Desk August 07, 2019

Ryan Harris believes James Anderson ought to shoulder a big share of the blame for England's defeat in the Ashes opener at Edgbaston.

Anderson apologised to his team-mates after suffering a recurrence of a calf injury on day one of the series against Australia last Thursday.

England's leading Test wicket-taker was only able to bowl four overs as the tourists recovered from a poor start to win by 251 runs.

Anderson was passed fit to play in Birmingham after missing the one-off Test against Ireland due to a calf injury he sustained playing for Lancashire last month.

The 37-year-old will miss the second Test at Lord's and former Australia paceman Harris has questioned how he came to be selected for the start of the battle for the urn.

He told Omnisport: "All in all, it's easy to question Joe Root's captaincy but I'd put a bit of pressure on Jimmy Anderson, saying he was fit for the match and getting through only four overs.

"I know injury is injury, but to come off an injury and say you are 100 per cent fit for an Ashes Test match is a big call.

"Bowling in the nets to bowling in the intensity of a Test, let alone an Ashes Test, is very different. To break down after four overs, you could cop it after 20-odd overs, but after four overs puts a lot of pressure on your bowling unit.

"From the start Joe Root was sort of doomed, all Australia had to do - although they didn't in the first innings - was to grind the bowlers down as they knew they were a bowler down.

"They did that in the second innings. It doesn't help when your experienced, leading strike bowler does that."

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  • Ashes 2019: Australia build on sizeable advantage after more batting blues for England Ashes 2019: Australia build on sizeable advantage after more batting blues for England

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  • Ashes 2019: England's shambolic 67 in Opta numbers Ashes 2019: England's shambolic 67 in Opta numbers

    England were embarrassed at home by their arch rivals on Friday as Australia ran through their fragile batting line-up in dismissing them for 67.

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    - England's eventual total of 67 was their lowest ever at Headingley, where the lowest Test total of all time is 61 (West Indies in 2000).

    - This capitulation followed England being dismissed for 85 by Ireland at Lord's last month. This is just the second time where England were all out for fewer than 100 twice in home Tests hosted in the same year (2019 and 1888).

    - Moreover, this was the fourth time since the start of 2018 that England were all out for 85 or less. Their other paltry totals came against West Indies in January (77) and against New Zealand in March 2018 (58).

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