England set to recall Anderson for Old Trafford Test

England look set to recall for veteran seamer James Anderson for the fourth Test against Australia at Old Trafford, starting on Wednesday.

Anderson was left out of the side for the third Test at Headingley, which England won by three wickets to pull the series back to 2-1 and keep alive their hopes of regaining the Ashes.

But the 40-year-old – who is England’s all-time leading Test wicket-taker with 688 – is expected to return on his home ground, where one end is named after him, when the fourth Test begins, live on Sky Sports Cricket.

England captain Ben Stokes stated prior to the third Test: “It’s a good chance for Jimmy to have a rest up and then get ready to charge in from the James Anderson End at Old Trafford next week.”

England's James Anderson reacts after bowling during the second Ashes Test at Lord's (AP)
Image: Anderson took just three wickets in the first two Tests of the series

Ollie Robinson, who was unable to bowl at Headingley due to a back spasm, is most likely to make way for Anderson’s return, while Josh Tongue – who impressed after coming into the side for the second Test at Lord’s – could also feature.

Anderson has yet to make a major impact in the current series, having picked up just a single wicket in the opening Test at Edgbaston and then one in each innings at Lord’s.

Harris: I’m ready to step in for Warner

Australia’s Marcus Harris is prepared to make an impact if he gets a chance in the Ashes series against England, even though he expects opener David Warner to play the fourth test at Old Trafford from Wednesday.

Warner’s place in the side remains a matter of speculation after his twin failure in Leeds where he fell to Stuart Broad in both innings as England prevailed by three wickets to stay alive in the five-match series.

David Warner (Associated Press)
Image: David Warner’s form has led to speculation he may lose his place for Australia

Warner has managed one half-century in six innings in the series but forged three fifty-plus opening partnerships with Usman Khawaja.

“Davey’s obviously a bit of a lightning rod for opinion,” Harris told reporters on Sunday. “But I think they’ve done really well – as an opening partnership when you can get the team off to a good start.

“Even if youre not getting the big runs that you want to get, if you can still contribute to the team in some way, shape or form, I think you’re doing a job.”

Australia are considering ways to accommodate both Mitchell Marsh, who smashed a hundred and grabbed two wickets in Leeds, and the all-rounder he replaced, Cameron Green, who sat out the third test with a hamstring strain.

Given a chance, Harris said he would grab it with both hands.

“The training we can do now with how big the squad is as a collective… is as good, if not better, than playing a game of cricket,” said Harris, who played the last of his 14 tests against England in Sydney last year.

“All you can do is prepare the best you can. Like we saw with Mitch (Marsh) last game, you never know when your chance will come up. “If I am called upon, I am ready to go.”

Watch day one of the fourth Ashes Test between England and Australia live on Sky Sports Cricket on Wednesday July 19. Build-up begins at 10am, ahead of the first ball at 11am. You can stream the men’s and women’s Ashes series on NOW.

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