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Next in line: Five candidates to become James Anderson's successor

England have some decent options to consider when assessing who should replace James Anderson when the veteran fast bowler retires from Test cricket in July.

By Jonathan Healy

James Anderson announced last week that England's upcoming ICC World Test Championship match against the West Indies at Lord's will be his last for his country and the search is now on to find his long-term replacement.

End of an era: James Anderson confirms retirement from Test cricket

It is near impossible to replace a fast bowler that has taken 700 Test wickets, but England have some good options to consider when looking for who they should use as James Anderson's successor.

We take a look at five options England may consider:

1. Jofra Archer

The Barbados-born quick is an obvious choice to fill the void should he ever play Test cricket again, but a lot depends on the fitness of the tall right-armer.

Archer hasn't played an international match for England in more than 12 months and his last Test appearance came back in February 2021 when he was part of the side that was beaten by India inside two days in Ahmedabad.

While Archer has only played 13 Tests for England, he has shown enough in those matches to prove he is just as much of a menace with the red ball as he is with the white ball.

If Archer can make a successful comeback during next month's ICC Men's T20 World Cup then look for the 29-year-old to be given the chance to replace Anderson during England's upcoming Test summer.

Jofra Archer feature

2. Ollie Robinson

Despite having already celebrated his 30th birthday, Robinson is a relative late bloomer to Test cricket and could still have plenty to give for his country should he regain some of the consistency he displayed earlier in his career.

Robinson burst onto the scene in 2021 when he collected a pair of five-wicket hauls against India at home and built on that promise when showing some excellent signs later that year on his first trip to Australia, picking up 11 scalps from four Ashes Tests.

While Robinson has been in and out of England's Test team in recent times, the right-armer could find his way back into the fold should selectors need a reliable option on home soil against the West Indies and Sri Lanka this summer.

James Anderson | ICC Men's Test Cricketer of the Decade nominee

3. Gus Atkinson

While Atkinson is yet to make his Test debut, the 26-year-old remains highly-rated within England's setup and it's surely just a matter of time before the tall right-armer wins his first Test cap.

England took Atkinson to India as part of their squad for last year's ICC Men's Cricket World Cup and the pacer showed glimpses of form when collecting four wickets from just three appearances against South Africa, Netherlands and Pakistan.

Atkinson picked up 20 wickets from five matches for Surrey in last year's domestic County Championship and has made a steady start to this year's campaign with nine scalps from two games at The Oval last month.

Look for Atkinson to be given the chance over the next few months to become England's new pace spearhead.

Atkinson alongside James Anderson at England training earlier this year // Getty Images

Atkinson (left) alongside James Anderson at England training earlier this year // Getty Images

4. Josh Tongue

Tongue is another England quick battling injury, but coach Brendon McCullum is a massive fan of the right-armer and he is sure to be given another chance when he regains full fitness.

Tongue made an immediate impact with a five-wicket haul on debut against Ireland at Lord's last year and wasn't overawed when collecting another five wickets over two innings at the same London venue when called up to take on Australia during the second Ashes Test.

The 26-year-old hasn't played any cricket since August last year and is still recovering from a pectoral injury, but expect the talented quick to be given further opportunities when available.


Tongue celebrates the wicket of David Warner at Lord's // Getty Images

5. Matthew Potts

Potts has made a relatively slow start to this year's County Championship with Durham, but good performances with the England Lions in India at the start of the year ensures the 25-year-old remains in contention to fill the void of Anderson in the future.

Having made just six Test appearances thus far, Potts' best display came on debut against New Zealand at Lord's when he picked up the key wicket of Kiwi veteran Kane Williamson on his way to impressive figures of 4/13 in a five-wicket victory.

Potts can get good bounce and pick up plenty of movement with the new ball and is likely to get another opportunity to impress this summer in Tests against West Indies and Sri Lanka.


Potts appeals to the umpire for a wicket against New Zealand // Getty Images

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