England has left the door open to unleash both James Anderson and Stuart Broad in Adelaide after leaving out Mark Wood for the second Ashes Test.
Both Broad and Anderson were named in a 12-man squad by English officials on Wednesday night, with the latter almost certain to play on Thursday.
Spinner Jack Leach is still in the squad despite being thumped in Brisbane, but is no guarantee to play with quicks Chris Woakes and Ollie Robinson also included.
There has been a belief all week that England have been leaning towards playing four front-line quicks, as well as all-rounder Ben Stokes as he manages a knee issue.
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) December 15, 2021
England claimed that Wood was being “rested” from the Adelaide Oval Test, but the decision will raise eyebrows.
He was a threat with the ball in the heavy first Test loss at the Gabba, with his pace and bounce, taking 3-85 including the key wicket of Steve Smith.
But the tourists will at least have Anderson to lead the attack, after the 39-year-old was rested from the first Test to ensure he was fit for the pink ball clash in Adelaide.
“It’s something I’ve got used to over the last few years,” Anderson said.
“Missing out the odd game to try and make sure that I stay fresh, especially through a long series.
“But to be honest, all I try and focus on is making sure my bowling is as good as it can be.
“My fitness is as good as it can be. And if a captain wants me to play then I’ll be there for him.”
Anderson is however hopeful that will be the last time he’s rested, with the three-day gap between Brisbane and Adelaide the shortest of the series.
“I came here wanting to be available for five and that doesn’t change now,” Anderson said.
“I want to be available for the next four.
“With the gaps between the next few games it might be a bit easier to get that rest in between and make sure everyone is fresh.”
Anderson and Broad share 1156 Test wickets between them, and would be expected to enjoy the pink ball under lights in Adelaide.
Anderson claimed figures of 5-43 in the pink ball Test on his last tour, giving the tourists their closest shot at a win in their past two Ashes series in Australia.
Broad was England’s biggest threat in the 2019 Ashes in England, terrorising Australia’s left-handers with the Dukes ball swinging around in more friendly conditions.
He removed David Warner seven times in 104 balls to him during the series, and finished with 23 wickets at 26.65.
“We have got to be able to bowl well in all conditions, whether the sun is out … or it’s nine o’clock at night under lights,” Anderson said.
Joe Root (captain), Jimmy Anderson, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Haseeb Hameed, Jack Leach, Dawid Malan, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes.