England will not be distracted by Stokes' absence in Ashes - James Anderson

James Anderson is confident of England's chances in the Ashes
James Anderson is confident of England's chances in the Ashes

England pace bowler James Anderson is confident that a probable absence of all-rounder Ben Stokes will not hamper their chances in the upcoming Ashes series in Australia.

Stokes' participation in the five-match Test series is clouded after the Durham all-rounder and his team-mate Alex Hales were arrested for an altercation in Bristol and are currently under investigation.

The England board has already suspended both the players following the incident and insisted that they will wait for the investigation to conclude before taking a decision on the duo.

Considering the influence Stokes has on the England team, many pundits believe Joe Root's men will struggle to retain the Ashes if the 26-year-old misses out on the tour but Anderson refused to agree.

"When we won the Ashes in 2010/11, we didn’t win it with 11 players - we won with 13/14/15 players," Anderson told Sky Sports News.

"The biggest thing for us is we get 15 or 16 players to be on top of their game when we get to Australia and be able to perform for our team.

"Once we get there, the only focus will be beating Australia... It’s just a case of being strong enough and having that tunnel vision to focus on the individual and as a team and what will help the team win the series."

Anderson, who recently went past 500 wickets and claimed the pole position in ICC Rankings for bowlers urged the individuals to take up the responsibility if they are to beat the Australians at their own backyard.

"My own focus will be on my bowling and what I can do to help the team and I‘m sure all the other individuals in the side will do that. If we can do that then I‘m sure we’ll galvanise and put in a strong performance."

The first Test of the series kicks-off in Brisbane on 23rd November.

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