James Anderson ruled out of fifth Test

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England bowler James Anderson will miss the fifth and final Ashes Test against Australia after failing to recover from a side strain.

Captain Alastair Cook said on Wednesday that Anderson, who suffered the injury in the third Test at Edgbaston, was still around a week away from full fitness having only returned to bowl in the nets on Tuesday.

"Unfortunately he's not going to make it," Cook said. "He's gutted about it. He's made really good progress from where he was at Edgbaston but this is a week or so too soon.


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"He bowled in the nets yesterday but at about 60-70 per cent and that's not how you go into a game. He's really gutted. The medical team have been brilliant with him but he's still about a week away."

Cook admitted the decision to leave out Anderson is perhaps easier for England with the Ashes already secured, but said he was happy with the depth of England's bowling.

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"Jimmy's not fit," he said. "As much hard work as he has put in, he's not right. It's a hard question to answer, if it was 2-2, but the way Mark (Wood) has come in and bowled in the series, certainly in the first game and the last game, we have options. Especially with Liam Plunkett as well, we have good strength in depth."

Anderson's absence means England are unchanged from the series-clinching win at Trent Bridge. There had been speculation that Yorkshire spinner Adil Rashid would get his chance ahead of the winter tours of the United Arab Emirates and South Africa, but Cook said the team had been picked with victory at The Oval the only objective.

"We come into this game trying to win this series 4-1," he said. "That's what we've discussed. Adil has been with us in every single squad but the pitches haven't quite suited two spinners so Adil's had to wait for his chance.

"As a cricketer, he's really improving and he feels a lot more comfortable in the England environment. There's a one-day series to come so he'll probably get his chance in that."

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James Anderson (cricket)
England cricket
The Ashes

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