England’s leading fast bowler James Anderson is all set to make a comeback to England’s Test squad in India next week. The Lancashire pacer had earlier missed the Bangladesh series due to a stress fracture in his right shoulder and has not played cricket since the Test against Pakistan at the Kia-Oval in August.
Anderson’s return to the Test squad is a huge positive for England, and it is believed that the fast-bowler will play a significant part of the Test series. Anderson has been in a rebuilding phase over the last two weeks by practising on the grass surface in the heated marquee outside the National Cricket Performance Centre in Loughborough, where he has been working on his fitness and speed. Anderson was given a nod for the India Tests, only after he cleared the fitness test on Friday morning.
Anderson will be arriving at Rajkot, the venue for the first Test, on Tuesday which is just a day ahead of the start of the Test. His late arrival would obviously rule him out of contention for selection for the first Test, but it seems highly likely that Anderson will play in the second Test of the series in Vishakhapatnam. Anderson’s arrival in India will allow him to acclimatise to the sub-continental conditions and will also allow him to train with his teammates.
The 34-year old Anderson is a vital cog in England’s bowling lineup, which will be led by Stuart Broad in Anderson’s absence. Steve Finn and Chris Woakes are the other two pacers in the squad. England have also gone with three spinners in their squad, which includes two newcomers Haseeb Hameed and Zafar Ansari. Gareth Batty is the most experienced spinner in the squad, while Moeen Ali is also someone who can chip in with off-break bowling.
England’s batting will rely on their captain and batting stalwart Alistair Cook, who’ll be accompanied by Joe Root and Gary Ballance at the top of the order.
As for the hosts, they included all-rounder Hardik Pandya in the squad, and Gautam Gambhir has kept his place in the team from the New Zealand series. The rest of the squad for India stays the same which took on New Zealand on October.
The first Test of the five-Test series between India and England begins on November 9 at Rajkot. It’ll be the first ever Test to be played in Rajkot.