Who Replaces Anderson?
With James Anderson officially ruled out of next week’s Fourth Test at Trent Bridge, England’s selectors must again plug a hole in the bowling line up as Alastair Cook’s side look to prize the famous urn away from Australian hands.
The Lancashire pace man leaves some mighty big shoes to fill. Whether it be for one Test, or the remained of the series, Anderson is England’s best bowler, passing 400 Test wickets at Edgbaston this week. But options appear, happily, numerous heading in to Nottingham.
Wood is the obvious choice to replace Anderson, assuming he is fit.
Absent at Edgbaston due to an ankle injury, the Durham paceman has impressed this summer, taking 14 wickets in four games while showing good pace and movement (a definite plus heading to Trent Bridge) during his fledgling international career.
Concerns over his ability to handle the hefty work load Test cricket can demand continue, but he is expected to be 100% again by next week, and as such is odds on to regain his place in the side.
Returning to fitness following a knee operation, Warwickshire seamer Woakes finds himself back in the England frame largely thanks to the traditionally swing friendly Trent Bridge conditions.
Considered by some to be the closest like-for-like replacement for Anderson, Woakes is undoubtedly talented, but his injury lay off surely harms his chances of selection this summer. A strong second half to the domestic season should see him on the plane to the UAE in the autumn though, when England take on Pakistan.
Someone (Else) from Yorkshire
Any discussion about the England bowling attack invariably involves Adil Rashid at the moment; with the leg spinner breathing down Moeen Ali’s neck as he battle to become England’s ball tweaker of choice.
But it’s not Moeen England are replacing at Trent Bridge, meaning only the most spin friendly wicket Trent Bridge has produced in years will see the 27-year old drafted in for the Fourth Test.
Rashid does however have a number of team mates the selectors may turn to.
Liam Plunkett has been rejuvenated by the ‘just let him bowl’ attitude Yorkshire have applied to the former Durham seamer, but injuries and a suspension have limited the Middlesbrough native to just two Championship games this season; probably ending any hopes of an England recall.
Jack Brooks on the other hand has 57 first-class wickets at 21.13 apiece this season, and has been one of the Yorkshire’s premier bowlers since arriving in 2011. But at 31, Brooks may be deemed ‘too old’ to step in at this point – despite his previous involvement with the England Performance Programme – when England have youngsters like Wood, Woakes and Chris Jordan waiting in the wings.
As a very outside bet for a one off call up, veteran Ryan Sidebottom took 11/76 versus Warwickshire at the start of the month, spent seven years at Trent Bridge and is well rested after a fortnight off.
As reliable as they come, an unlikely recall for Sidebottom would only come if England want to add a little more variety to the attack. But then if England want a left armer, we come to…
Another former Nottinghamshire seamer, Footitt impressed during the England teams pre-Ashes training camp in Spain, has 50 first class wickets to his name this season, and bowls with good pace.
The cynic may believe Footitt only went to Spain to provide some practise against a quick left armer prior to Mitchell Johnson’s arrival; but his previous stint at Trent Bridge give him first hand experience of what the ground can offer a bowler.
Despite a small ground swell of support for his call up, playing Division 2 cricket for Derbyshire is unlikely to do his chances any favours.
With 56 first class wickets to his name this season, 25-year old Harris appears to be back to his best again, following a string of injury hit campaigns.
Harris burst on to the scene as a 16-year old with Glamorgan, represented England at under 19 level, was part of the England Performance Programme and toured with the Lions, but struggled to crack the senior side.
A somewhat ill fated consultation with the England management team led to alterations to his action in a bid to gain some extra pace, compromising his previously lauded consistency.
Sporting his more natural action once again, Harris is not flashy but moves the ball well and has proven to be a reliable performer during this renaissance with Middlesex.
The leading wicket taker in County cricket this season with 71 (including two for the MCC), Rushworth took 55 wickets in 2013 and 65 in 2014 to assemble a resume based largely on results; sporting an impressive first class average of just 23.11 with the ball.
Not as quick as some of his counter parts, Rushworth has proven to be an effective bowler for a Durham team who continue to compete in Division 1, but seems unlikely to leap frog the other candidates in spite of the strong case his sheer accumulation of wickets should maybe command (259 career wickets in 68 first class matches).
Posted on July 31, 2015, in England, International Cricket, The Ashes and tagged Chris Rushworth, Chris Woakes, England, International Cricket, Jack Brooks, Liam Plunkett, Mark Foottit, Mark Wood, The Ashes. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.