James Anderson declares himself fit for England's Ashes opener against Australia

London, May 25 (IANS) Veteran England fast bowler James Anderson has declared himself fit to play in the first Ashes Test against Australia at Edgbaston on June 16, after recovering from a groin injury sustained while playing a County Championship game for his club Lancashire earlier this month.

“Yes definitely. It feels really good and as if it has reacted to treatment. I have no issues running and bowling again and just keeping my fingers crossed I can carry on going as I have been and will be ready for the Ashes,” Anderson was quoted as saying by The Telegraph.

Anderson is England’s leading wicket-taker in Test cricket with 685 scalps in 179 matches, and news of his availability is crucial for England, who are already without injured fast bowler Jofra Archer for their entire home summer.

But Anderson is unlikely to play in England’s one-off Test against Ireland starting from June 1 at Lord’s, especially after uncapped seamer Josh Tongue was added to the squad.

“It (groin injury) is good. It is not too serious. I have been back bowling and running and (am) confident I will be fit and firing soon.”

“The idea is to try and step it up here at Lancashire over the next couple of days and then meet up with England on Sunday and see where I get to. I am in the squad for the Ireland Test but we have to make a call on that nearer to the time.”

England are looking to regain the Ashes against Australia for the first time since 2015. After Edgbaston hosts the first Ashes Test from June 16-20, the rest of the games will take place at Lord’s, Headingley, Old Trafford and The Oval. This will also be Anderson’s tenth Ashes series for England.

–IANS

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