Source: SkyCricket via Twitter
England have been blessed to boast James Anderson and Stuart Broad in their bowling line-up for ten years. Anderson has etched his place in history by breaking Sir Ian Botham’s record for most Test wickets by an Englishman. The 35-year-old will certainly surpass Glenn McGrath’s mark of 563 strikes to become the most potent seam bowler in the history of the longest format of the game. Broad has been an excellent foil for the Lancastrian with the new ball, moving past Botham and the 400-wicket mark in the Three Lions’ series against New Zealand.
Joe Root has come to rely on the duo for their experience, but also their skill. Anderson was at the peak of his powers last summer in England’s series win over South Africa and the West Indies. He remained potent in the Ashes, although he was powerless to stop England crumbling to a 4-0 defeat. Broad struggled for rhythm last season, putting pressure on his partner at the other end. However, he found his form against New Zealand, although it was still not enough to stop the Three Lions losing the series to Kane Williamson’s side. Anderson is approaching the twilight of his career, while Broad is also in his thirties. As a result, England have concerns with the Ashes ahead in 2019 over the future of their bowling attack.
The Three Lions’ bowlers outside of Anderson and Broad failed to rise to the occasion over the winter. Although both of England’s senior men should still be available for the Ashes, Root’s men are still underdogs for the contest against Australia next year in the latest cricket betting odds, stressing the need for answers over the course of the summer. Chris Woakes, Mark Wood, Toby Roland-Jones, Steven Finn, Tom Curran and Craig Overton will be vying to fill the spots, even though none of them has done a great deal to alleviate long-term fears over the future of the attack.
Source: EnglandCricket via Twitter
Woakes has been impressive in home conditions in Test matches and with the white ball across the world. However, the Warwickshire man has struggled overseas with the red ball, failing to threaten in India, South Africa and Australia. Unless he can take his game to the next level, England cannot take him on tours. Wood has endured fitness problems, which has reduced his speed. He has not been overly effective in his limited action in Test matches, averaging 41.82 with 28 wickets to his name in 11 matches. Roland-Jones appeared to be on course to be the third seamer in the attack for the Ashes after an impressive start to his career before he suffered a back injury. Although at the age of 30, the Middlesex man does not provide the long-term answer England are searching for.
Curran and Overton are the great hopes and will be looking to overcome tough starts to their respective careers at the highest level. Both were blooded during the Ashes and endured a difficult time with the ball in their hands, although they did show fight in the lower order with the bat. However, the Three Lions need them to find their form to ease the pressure on Anderson and Broad, as well as bringing the prospect of a safe future for the team.