Ashes 2023, Australia v England, fifth Test, day one, updates, live scores, blogs, scorecards, stats, teams, video

England captain Ben Stokes has boldly declared James Anderson “the greatest fast bowler to play the game” as the hosts look to finish the Ashes on a high in the fifth Test against Australia at The Oval.

Australia has already retained the urn thanks to the fourth Test being washed out and already holding a 2-1 advantage in the series, meaning England can only level the series at best.

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However, the visitors will also be seeking to become the first team since 2001 to win an Ashes series on English soil.

One man who will desperately not want to be on the wrong side of a 3-1 deficit is wily veteran Anderson, who forms part of the English attack alongside Stuart Broad, Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes and Mark Wood.

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Stokes conceded the 41-year-old hasn’t been able to have his usual influence on the series as he would have liked, but believes Father Time has not caught up with Anderson just yet.

“Everyone has pulled up well, everyone is fit,” Stokes said.

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“It has been a tough four games [but] one tiny positive we can take out of the rain [at Old Trafford] was that the bowlers got a lot more rest.

“[Anderson] is quality. He has probably not had the impact and the wickets he would like in this series but he is a quality bowler, a quality performer.

“Jimmy has come under a bit of flak but if Joe [Root] hadn’t scored the runs he would like to you wouldn’t be questioning him about staying in the team.

“James Anderson is the greatest fast bowler to play the game and he is still looking as good as he was two years ago.”

Over the course of the series, Anderson has snared four wickets across three Tests at an average of 76.75 and finished with figures of 1-81 from 37 overs at Old Trafford.


Australia XI: Yet to be announced

England XI: Ben Duckett, Zak Crawley, Moeen Ali, Joe Root, Harry Brook, Benjamin Stokes (c), Jonathan Bairstow (wk), Christopher Woakes, Stuart Broad, Mark Wood, James Anderson

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