James Anderson has been ruled out of the first Test starting on Wednesday despite his team mate Jos Buttler saying he was fit for selection.
Earlier reports from English media said Anderson has succumbed to a calf injury, but Buttler said the 39-year-old’s absence was precautionary and aimed at saving him for later clashes.
“He is fit, he’s been bowling well but it’s just a precautionary measure,” Buttler told reporters.
“I faced him in the nets yesterday and will hopefully face him in the nets against today.”
He added Ben Stokes was also fit to take his place, which was confirmed when England later named their 12, with one to drop out on Wednesday mornin.
Australian captain Pat Cummins was asked if the Anderson news was significant shock to him.
“No, I didn’t expect him to play all five Tests,” said Cummins.
“It’s a shame he won’t be out there tomorrow. He’s 39, one of the leading wicket takers in cricket. Any team he walks into is a team worth watching.
“In terms of the context of the series we’ll concentrate on what we do well. It’s not a huge factor from our end.”
Chris Woakes will start instead while England are reportedly also starting Mark Wood in their attack.
The two remaining bowling spots will be taken by two of Stuart Broad, Ollie Robinson and Jack Leach.
The UK Telegraph reported that Woakes, Stuart Broad, Ollie Robinson, Wood and Ben Stokes are England’s likely attack for the first Test with no spinner to be selected.
The Cricketer reported Anderson’s injury is not deemed to be particularly serious, but is bad enough not to warrant risking him at the start of the series.
Anderson, 39, has played 18 Tests down under, claiming 60 wickets at an average of 35.43.
He wrote in a recent column that he had never felt so under-prepared for a Test series. England were wary of picking him when under-bowled in case he sustains an injury that could rule him out for the series.
In the 2019 Ashes he pulled up with a calf injury after just four overs of the first Test at Edgbaston and did not play again for the rest of the year.
Anderson also wrote in his column that he is aiming to play three of the five Ashes Tests, with Adelaide a priority.
He had his best bowling figures in Australia in Adelaide four years ago when he took 5-43, swinging the ball under the lights.
England 12: Joe Root (captain), Chris Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Haseeb Hameed, Jack Leach, Dawid Malan, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.