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SportBoycott believes England should move on from Lancashire ace Anderson

Boycott believes England should move on from Lancashire ace Anderson

England can’t keep picking James Anderson “on sentiment forever”, according to Geoff Boycott.

Anderson became the first seam bowler to reach 700 wickets in Test cricket on England’s recent tour of India but was used in short spells, partly due to the state of the spin-friendly pitches.

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Nevertheless, Boycott thinks it’s time England moved on from the Lancashire man and targeted younger, more robust bowlers to go to Australia at the end of next year.

He wrote in the Telegraph: “Jimmy Anderson deserves all the adulation and plaudits for staying fit to play 187 Test matches and reach 700 wickets but, because of his age, he is used too sparingly.

“England cannot keep wrapping him in cotton wool and picking him on sentiment forever. In a year-and-a-half England’s next big challenge will be going to Australia to try and win back the Ashes. 

“Fast bowling is physically very demanding and eventually takes its toll on every bowler’s body. Jimmy will be 43 by the next Ashes and I don’t see him being able to do the hard yards on tough, bone hard pitches and in hot weather.

“Jimmy remains a great craftsman and he can give experience at one end while some new boys get bedded in at the other but before the Australia trip it will be time to nicely say ‘sayonara Jimmy, thank you for the memories. We have loved watching your skill but it is time to move on’.”

Anderson’s departure from the international scene – whenever it comes – will inevitably leave an enormous hole in England’s attack but Boycott is confident there are players on the county circuit that deserve a chance.

He added: “England have to find some young seamers who can bowl 20 overs and come back the next day ready for more.

“They need to be given matches before the team is selected for Australia. For example, Josh Tongue played at Lord’s against Australia and took five wickets and has never been seen again. Matt Potts 23 wickets in six Tests but has not played since the Ireland game last summer.”

England face West Indies and Sri Lanka this summer.

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.
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