Veteran quick James Anderson has replaced fellow pacer Ollie Robinson in England’s playing eleven for the fourth Ashes Test starting at Old Trafford on Wednesday.
Anderson was rested from England’s playing eleven for the third Test at Headingley, where they won by three wickets to keep the series alive. He now comes in for the Manchester Test in place of Robinson, who experienced back issues during the victory at Headingley. The back issues meant Robinson bowled only 11 overs in the first innings and didn’t bowl at all in second innings.
In the ongoing Ashes, Anderson has taken just three wickets at an average of 75.33 in the first two Tests at Edgbaston and Lord’s. He will now have a chance to bowl from the James Anderson End at his home ground Old Trafford, something which was also indicated by skipper Ben Stokes.
Moreover, England have retained Moeen Ali to bat at number three. Moeen batted at number three in the second innings at Headingley, which got Harry Brook to return to his usual number five spot. Though Ali made only five runs, Brook was able to make a fine 75 while coming out to bat at number five and play a pivotal role in England’s win.
England are 2-1 behind to Australia in the ongoing five-game Ashes series. The hosts’ need to win at Manchester to push the series to a decider at The Oval, while a draw will mean Australia would retain the Ashes. England have not beaten Australia at Old Trafford since 1981.
Australia are yet to name their playing, with questions around the positions of David Warner, Scott Boland and whether Cameron Green will return to playing eleven after missing last game due to low-grade hamstring injury.
England Playing XI: Ben Duckett, Zak Crawley, Moeen Ali, Joe Root, Harry Brook, Ben Stokes (captain), Jonathan Bairstow (wicketkeeper), Chris Woakes, Mark Wood, Stuart Broad and James Anderson.