Anderson not expecting to play all five Ashes Tests
Veteran fast bowler James Anderson said he does not expect to play all five matches at next month's home Ashes series against Australia.
Anderson is England's leading bowler in Tests, with 685 wickets, and is crucial to their chances after fellow pacer Jofra Archer was ruled out of the Ashes with an elbow injury.
The 40-year-old suffered a groin injury playing for Lancashire last week but has said he expects to be fit for the five-match series, which spans just over six weeks and begins at Edgbaston from June 16.
"I think playing all five is a little bit optimistic," Anderson told British media.
"I think three, not just for myself – if you said to any of the bowlers three out of five, I think that's probably more realistic, more sensible. If it's four then great.
"The thing is, you've got to take it game by game. If we're bowling 250 overs in the field in five days then you're probably going to rest. There could be rain, we could bowl them out cheaply. You just don't know, you've got to play it by ear."
England were handed a 4-0 drubbing in Australia in the last Ashes series, but coach Brendon McCullum and captain Ben Stokes have led them to 10 wins in 12 Tests on the back of an aggressive style of play dubbed "Bazball".
Anderson hailed Stokes's leadership, adding: "I think he's been spot on so far. I can't fault anything really.
"I think everyone knew that he was a leader, the way he trains, whether it's the gym or whether it's catching or batting or bowling the way he goes about his business – he is the ultimate professional, a born leader.
"(But) for me, it's the finer details, not just on the field where his tactical nous has been spot on, but also his emotional intelligence off the field and how he talks to everyone in the group."