By India Today Sports Desk: Ricky Ponting has claimed that he would be surprised if England pick James Anderson for the final Ashes 2023 Test against Australia at the Oval.
Anderson has had a series to forget against the Aussies as he has been able to claim just four wickets in the series thus far, with an unexpectedly high bowling average figure of 76.75.
The 41-year-old has always been a key performer for England in the Ashes. His past performances in the esteemed tournament stand as testimonials of his bowling prowess. This unexpectedly low output of wickets is a matter of concern and hasn’t helped England’s cause in the series.
Despite this, Anderson was included in the squad for the final Test against Australia.
Speaking on the ICC Review, Ponting said that Anderson had lacked penetration throughout the series. The former Aussie skipper said that Anderson was given everything during the Manchester Test which he needed to make an impact and still failed to do so.
Ponting said he would be surprised if Anderson did play in the final Test.
“He has lacked penetration right through the series, James Anderson so it’s going to be a really interesting decision, I think, from England now going into this last Test,” Ponting noted.
“He might have picked up wickets the other dayâæand they were tail-end wickets. And he got given the new ball on both occasions. So he got everything that he would have wanted as far as when to bowl and who to bowl at. And he just hasn’t had the penetration that you’ve expected from Anderson through such an amazing career.”
“So I must admit, I’d be very surprised if they do go ahead and play him at The Oval. If they do, you talk about this selection of Manchester being the sentimental one. I think now if they pick him at the Oval, that will be more sentimental than anything.
“Because what I saw with Tongue at Lord’sâæhe was the pick of their bowlers in that Lord’s game and then he’s gone straight back out. So I’d be very surprised if Anderson actually plays this last Test.”
Ponting’s predicted England XI: Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Moeen Ali, Joe Root, Harry Brook, Ben Stokes (c), Jonny Bairstow, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood, Stuart Broad, Josh Tongue.