ENGLAND coach Andy Flower insists bowler James Anderson will be fit for the first Test of what is sure to be a fiercely contested Ashes series.
Seamer Anderson controversially suffered cracked ribs in a boxing exercise on England’s boot camp trip to Germany earlier this month.
But the Lancashire man is back in training and Flower is confident he will be ready to play a part in some of the warm-up games ahead of the Ashes curtain-raiser on 25 November.
“He’s already bowling at 75 per cent, so he should be fine for the first Test,” said Flower. “More than likely, he’ll be okay for two of those warm-up games.”
Flower defended the squad’s visit to Bavaria, and the activities that led to Anderson’s injury.
He added: “It was an excellent camp, actually, and I think the players and management who were involved in it did things that they might never have done before in their lives and might never do again, and it was a very healthy experience.”
England have enjoyed a settled team under Flower, so it is little surprise that he claims to have his selection for the first Test in mind already. However, with batsmen Alastair Cook and Kevin Pietersen off-form, he has left the threat of changes hanging.
“We are fairly clear with what we want,” he said. “There is still flexibility for decisions based on confidence, form or any variety of conditions we’ll come across.”
SCHEDULE | ASHES AND WARM-UP
Nov 5-7 v Western Australia, Perth
Nov 11-13 v South Australia, Adelaide
Nov 17-20 v Australia A, Hobart
Nov 25-29 1st Test, Brisbane
Dec 3-7 2nd Test, Adelaide
Dec 10-12 v Victoria, Melbourne
Dec 16-20 3rd Test, Perth
Dec 26-30 4th Test, Melbourne
Jan 3-7 5th Test, Sydney