England likely to play James Anderson in second Pakistan Test; Ollie Robinson in squad

England likely to play James Anderson in second Pakistan Test; Ollie Robinson in squad

August 12, 2020

Captain Joe Root says James Anderson is ‘likely’ to play in the second Test for England, who have included uncapped seamer Ollie Robinson in a 14-man squad.

England, 1-0 up against Pakistan in the #raisethebat series after a dramatic three-wicket in the series opener, have seven seamers to choose from for the clash at the Ageas Bowl – which you can watch live on Sky Sports Cricket from 10.30am on Thursday.

Anderson has bagged just six wickets at 41.17 in three Tests this summer, well down on his career average of 26.97, but bowled well at times last on his home ground at Old Trafford with statistics suggesting he is actually having one of his best home summers.

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The 38-year-old dismissed suggestions earlier this week that he will retire after “one bad game” and on Wednesday captain Joe Root confirmed that England’s leading wicket-taker of all time is likely to be given the opportunity to retain his place.

“Jimmy is likely to play, yes,” Root confirmed before asking, rhetorically: “Wouldn’t you give him the opportunity with
nearly 600 wickets?

“To get that stuff off his chest and talked about has definitely helped him. With Jimmy it won’t be long before he’s right back at the peak of his powers and I’m very much looking forward to him performing this week. I don’t think it will be long before he’s got another five-for beside his name.”

Meanwhile, Sussex bowler Robinson comes into the Test squad for the first time after it was confirmed that all-rounder Ben Stokes will miss the remainder of the three-Test series for family reasons.

Robinson, 26, trained with the squad during the West Indies series and furthered his chances of winning a first cap by bagging eight Hampshire wickets in the Bob Willis Trophy – and he received a glowing reference from Root.

“I think his performances have rightly given him the opportunity to be part of this squad,” the skipper explained.

“It’s a brilliant achievement for him to be part of this squad and testament to him for the performances he’s put in for the last couple of years.

“Over a long period of time we’re going to need a battery of fast bowlers and highly-skilled bowlers and he’s definitely in that bracket.

“He’s been wonderful for Sussex for a long period of time now and deserves to be where he is right now.”

Robinson faces stiff competition with in-form Stuart Broad and Chris Woakes primed for another outing against Pakistan, with paceman Jofra Archer, Sam Curran and Mark Wood also in contention.

Root reported that Wood has had ‘a knock’ recently but is bowling at high pace in the nets at the Ageas Bowl and shouldn’t be ruled out.

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