BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — Jimmy Anderson has been ruled out of the first Ashes test against Australia, leaving England without its leading wicket taker for a match that could set the tone for the series.
England wicketkeeper Jos Buttler on Tuesday said the 39-year-old Anderson would miss the Gabba test in Brisbane despite being fit enough to bowl at pace in the nets. The five-test Ashes series starts Wednesday.
Anderson is England's all-time leading bowler, taking 632 wickets in 166 tests. He has 60 wickets from 18 tests in Australia, including England's series win here in 2010-11.
“Jimmy is not going to play, but he is fit,” Buttler said. “It’s obviously a very long series and we want a guy like that to be available to play as much a part in it as possible. It’s just a bit precautionary.”
English media reported overnight that Anderson would miss the match because of a calf strain, and there were doubts of the fitness of his fellow veteran pace bowler Stuart Broad.
Buttler said Broad was “good to go.”
“He had an injury at the end of the summer in England. But he’s coming back well from that,” Buttler said. “He bowled well in the nets yesterday. Faced him in the nets. He’s good.”
England hasn't confirmed its starting XI for the match. Chris Woakes, Mark Wood and Ollie Robinson are among the other pace bowlers in the squad, and allrounder Ben Stokes is expected to bowl without any workload restrictions.
If fit, Anderson's experience and swing could be crucial to England's chances in the second test in Adelaide, a day-night, pink-ball match starting Dec. 16.
Buttler said Anderson was an important part of England's plans for the series, and there's no signs the veteran paceman is thinking of making this his last tour for England.
“I think the age is just a number for Jimmy at the minute,” Buttler said. “He’s in fantastic shape. He still seems to be trying to improve and learn new things. He still gets just as grumpy if he bowls a bad ball. I certainly see him wanting to continue for as long as he can.”
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