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Meet the candidates in the frame to fill Jimmy Anderson’s shoes

| 02.08.2015

Having stolen another march on the Ashes series with their thrilling three-day victory at Edgbaston, England woke up to sobering news the morning after with confirmation that Jimmy Anderson will miss the next Test through injury.

The side strain the country’s leading Test wicket taker sustained while bowling in Birmingham means the Trent Bridge battle will come too quickly for Anderson, leaving England without their main strike bowler at one of his favourite grounds.

Having taken 53 wickets at the Nottinghamshire venue in just eight Test matches, the 33-year-old’s absence leaves a sizeable hole in England’s attack as they bid to take an unassailable 3-1 lead in the series, an outcome Ladbrokes make a 9/4 possibility.

Three men are in line to replace the Lancastrian in the side, after the selectors called up Yorkshire’s Liam Plunkett and Derbyshire’s Mark Footitt into their 14-man squad.

Both new faces were part of England’s training camp in Spain prior to the start of the Ashes, where the squad met new coach Trevor Bayliss for the first time.

Mark Wood, who was ruled out of the Edgbaston Test with his own fitness struggles, is the other candidate to replace Anderson.

Plunkett was a regular feature of the Test side last year, often battling with Chris Jordan for the role of third seamer before losing his place to Wood this summer. He has played just two first-class games for Yorkshire this season however.

Footitt would make his Test match debut at Trent Bridge and would offer better variety to England as a left-arm option who bowls with considerable pace.

Wood, who initially impressed upon breaking into the side but has struggled to maintain fitness through the higher intensity of Test match cricket, is the most likely to get the nod, provided his body holds up.

Calls for the selectors to dip into county cricket to pick an Anderson-style swing bowler like Durham’s Chis Rushworth or Yorkshire’s Jack Brooks were ignored, with England preferring to keep faith with those initially earmarked for the series.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.