Former England captain Alastair Cook believes veteran pacer James Anderson’s sheer quality makes him a certainty in playing XI for fifth Ashes Test despite his lack of form
James Anderson during practice at The Oval yesterday. Pic/Getty Images; (Inset) Alastair Cook
Former captain Alastair Cook, 38, believes England will back veteran pacer James Anderson, 40, in the fifth and final Test against Australia at the Oval despite his subpar performance so far in the series.
Australia retained the urn as the fourth Ashes Test ended in a draw after the fifth day was washed out.
The visitors lead the series 2-1, but England will look to end the series with a win and make it 2-2 in the final Test starting tomorrow.
Cook, who scored 12,472 runs in 161 Tests, said the hosts will stick with Anderson and pick the same playing XI for the final Test.
Anderson, who has 689 Test wickets to his name, has only four wickets in the three Tests of this series. “I think they will stick with the same side, England will want the guarantee of James Anderson in the team. It’s not raining as much this week. You’d expect [skipper] Ben Stokes to want the quality of someone who has close to 700 wickets. He hasn’t probably bowled the best he can bowl, but he has the class. I expect him to play,” Cook said during an interaction organised by Sony Sports.
The Essex great added that England have a good chance to win the final Test and level the series, which would be a fair result given the manner in which the series has played out.
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“I definitely think England can win. I have never seen an Australian side get dominated as much in three days [like in the fourth Test]. I’m excited to see how that affects Australia. I do think 2-2 is a fair reflection of the series,” said Cook.
“At 2-2, England will say it’s a great comeback. They’ll regret being ahead [in the game] at Old Trafford. For Australia, you want to retain the Ashes but you also want to win. They haven’t won in England since 2001,” added the former England opening batsman.