What Changes Will Be in the Ashes Series Without Will Anderson?

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Mid-way into the Tests, England dropped its celebrity player Jimmy Anderson. The decision was taken due to the calf injury suffered in the very first match. Some fear that the absence of the famed wicket-taker could have disastrous results for the team’s performance in the tournament. But should this really be expected?

So far, the injured Anderson has been replaced by Craig Overton, with no other changes to the team. Can Overton match the amazing results delivered by the top cricketer in the past, remains to be seen. However, as stumped.app’s article says the changes could actually work in the home team’s favor. After all, his teammate Jofra Archer has been showing incredible results lately.

Big News

It is now clear that the 37-year-old will not be playing against Australia. Despite the hopes for his recovery, the pain in his right calf only grew worse after the friendly for Lancashire’s second XI versus Durham. The medical team’s verdict was unyielding, ruling Anderson out for the rest of the series games.

By the time the next Ashes begins in 2021, the cricketer will have turned 40. This means that the injury has probably brought his Ashes career to an end. Over the years, he has played in 32 Tests and taken 104 wickets at 34.56 against the Australian team. And now, he is out of the picture.

Here is the statement from the team: “James Anderson has been ruled out for the rest of the Ashes series. Whilst bowling the ninth over on Thursday in Lancashire’s second XI four-day friendly against Durham Anderson became aware of right-calf pain following on from 20 overs he bowled on Tuesday. He immediately sought a medical assessment from Lancashire and was withdrawn from the remainder of the game. Further review with the ECB medical team has confirmed he will be unavailable for the remaining two Ashes Tests.”

What Now?

England’s batting squad will see no changes, although they seemed inevitable seven days ago when the team got routed for 67 in their first innings and would have failed without Ben Stokes. His unbeaten 135 was the surprise factor that pushed the team to victory.

Thus, in the fourth Test, which will be played at Old Trafford, Jason Roy and Jos Buttler will remain on the team, regardless of their modest performance in the 71st tournament so far. They average 9.50 and 9.16, respectively, and surely would have been replaced if the rival team had achieved the 2-0 score

It is suggested that England could shuffle the positions: Roy may be moved down from opener to No. 4, while Buttler will get promoted. However, this news seemed minor in comparison with Anderson’s leaving.

Is Overton a Suitable Replacement?

According to the Guardian, the 25-year-old Overton can hardly be considered as Anderson’s equal. The Somerset seamer debuted in Tests during the previous Ashes tournament. The last time he featured was in March 2018 — in the match against New Zealand in Auckland. Unfortunately, all three Tests involving Overton failed for his team.

An argument speaking in Overton’s favor is the abrasive surface of the venue. The Old Trafford is focused on reverse-swing, and the wicket-taker can handle abrasive play well. This is exactly what made him stand out in the first two Tests in Australia. His squadmates seemed ready to wave the white flag, but he maintained the fighting spirit. Besides, he has already top-scored twice.

However, some experts predict that Overton will not be playing in the fourth Test. If England realizes the need to modify their bowling attack, they should bring in Sam Curran. However, Anderson’s absence is still perceived as a strong negative factor. Despite the team’s amazing one-wicket victory in Leeds, the series will be level at 1-1, which makes the situation quite problematic.

Abrasive play is also a factor that makes Curran’s candidacy dubious. He is a batsman that has brought victory, but are his bowling skills sufficient? The stadium is no swinging ground, and he would need to get the ball swinging to qualify as a Test-class bowler.

Anderson’s Performance In The Tests

After the launch of his Ashes comeback attempt, Anderson managed to bowl 9 overs and take 2 wickets. He had to miss the second Test due to the injury and was only able to bowl 4 overs in the first Test.

The three-day second XI friendly against Leicestershire offered a calmer atmosphere for his comeback efforts, and he did manage to bowl a spell in each of the opening two sessions. Before lunch, Anderson bowled 5 overs under his usual pace, and he took Sam Bates’ wicket, caught behind. Once the break was over, he started gaining pace and was able to bowl 4 over more. Anderson trapped Ben Mike LBW and proceeded to field at first slip.

Anderson’s Flaws

Is Jimmy Anderson irreplaceable? In fact, he has had enough of his own shortcomings. Addressed as “Clouderson” by his critics, Anderson is famous for his dependence on conditions. He tends to find his swing by relying on cloud cover, which sparks attacks on social media.



This explains why the wicket-taker has never achieved the status of a cricket all-time great, regardless of the many wickets taken. He may be adept as fast bowling at home, but his performance against Australia has always been considerably less impressive. Achieving an average of 23.76 in England, he only reaches 33.38 against the arch-rivals.

Bitter Disappointment

At the beginning of the summer, he was 25-wickets short of reaching 600 Tests and becoming the most effective pace bowler in history. Back then, it all seemed simple. The Test rivalry with Australia could have supplied the desired wickets, and Anderson’s name would go down in history. But This is not meant to happen now. Now, the cricketer will have to go through eight more Tests in the winter if he is still determined to hit the target.