To boost their chances in the crucial fourth Ashes Test against Australia at Old Trafford, England have decided to recall James Anderson in place of Ollie Robinson. The 40-year-old Anderson, who was rested for the third Test win at Headingley, will join the team at his home ground.
Although Robinson was deemed fit to play in Manchester after suffering back spasms at Leeds, the England selectors opted for the experienced Anderson. With Australia leading the series 2-1, England will have to ensure a win at all costs to regain the Ashes.
The England squad for the fourth Test includes Ben Duckett, Jack Crawley, Moeen Ali, Joe Root, Harry Brook, Ben Stokes (c), Jonny Bairstow (wk), Chris Woakes, Mark Wood, Stuart Broad and James Anderson.
Moeen Ali has been confirmed to bat at number three, having been promoted up the order during the second innings of the thrilling three-wicket win at Headingley. Harry Brook, who had batted at number three in the first innings of that match, continued at number five, where he had contributed a match-winning 75 in the second innings.
James Anderson, England’s all-time highest wicket-taker, had a challenging start to the series, struggling to make an impact in the first two Tests, both of which England lost. On his return from a groin injury sustained while playing for Lancashire, Anderson managed only three wickets against the Australians on unresponsive surfaces at Edgbaston and Lord’s. As soon as he returns to Old Trafford, Anderson will be hoping to break the streak that has kept him from scoring in a Test win against Australia since 2015.
Old Trafford has not been a favorable venue for England against Australia, their last win at the ground being in 1981. Four years ago, the visiting team won in Manchester to retain the Ashes. The weather forecast for the Test is uncertain and England had to face indoor training on Monday morning due to adverse conditions.
Australia are yet to announce their squad and there are questions over the status of under-pressure opener David Warner and all-rounders.
Warner showed some form in the first innings of the Second Test with a score of 66, but struggled in the next match, being dismissed for four and one by Stuart Broad. Cameron Green missed the Leeds Test with injury and his replacement Mitchell Marsh is expected to retain his place in the team after scoring a century at Headingley.