Ashes 2021: Anderson ruled out of Gabba Test; Woakes likely replacement
The England team management has clarified that Anderson is fit to play and that he is not carrying an injury.
England suffered a major setback ahead of the first Ashes Test match with pace bowler James Anderson being ruled out of the match. The first of the five test matches is due to begin at The Gabba in Brisbane on Wednesday. According to media reports, Anderson has been ruled out due to a calf strain.
The England team management has clarified that Anderson is fit to play and that he is not carrying an injury. They also said that the team did not want to take the risk of him playing after what happened in Edgbaston in 2019. To recall, the same calf injury had wrecked Anderson's 2019 Ashes campaign when the 39-year-old was forced to withdraw from the series after bowling just four overs in the first Test.
The team management further said that Anderson bowled in the nets in full capacity for almost an hour and that he would do the same today. The pacer will be travelling with the team, and working with the coaches at The Gabba. According to media reports, Anderson could be replaced by Chris Woakes alongside Mark Wood in England's playing XI for the first Test.
As the news of Anderson's absence from the first Test emerged, social media users were quick to point out the pacer's terrible record at The Gabba; in the four-Test matches that Anderson has played at the venue, he averages a miserable 75. Besides, experts believe that the England team management wants him to be at 100 per cent ahead of the pink-ball Test at the Adelaide Oval, Adelaide (December 16 to December 20).
Ashes 2021 Full Schedule
The Gabba, Brisbane
December 8 to December 12
Adelaide Oval, Adelaide
December 16 to December 20
Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne
December 26 to December 30
Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney
January 5 to January 9, 2022
Venue relocated from Perth
January 14 to January 18