Having arrived in India during yesterday night, senior seamer James Anderson has set his sights on the second Test at Vizag for returning to the England team. The 34-year old, whose last appearance came against Pakistan at The Oval in August, hopes to make a comeback much earlier than previously anticipated.
In a free-wheeling chat with Sky Sports, he hinted at a rapid recovery from the shoulder injury which has been troubling him for the past few months whilst confirming his resumption of bowling at the nets from Thursday.
Anderson believed, “I had a good week at Loughborough (ECB’s National High Performance Centre) last week, bowling to get some overs under my belt. Hopefully, I can keep that going this week and get some miles into my legs to make sure I'm as fit as I can be and maybe be fit for the second Test. It is still over a week away so it is hard to say for sure right now. It all depends how the week goes but I'm sure in the next two or three days, we'll have an idea of whether that is a possibility or not.”
When asked about the prospect of getting into action without any recent match practice, he added, “At the tender age of 34, I've got enough experience to get into match mode quite quickly. Obviously it is not always easy without having any games under my belt, but I think I am able to do that.”
A key performer in the 2012 series on Indian soil which the visitors won 2-1, the veteran suffered a stress fracture in his right shoulder during their home season. Even though age may not be on his side, skipper Alastair Cook and coach Trevor Bayliss were eager to welcome England’s leading wicket-taker of all-time on what could be a testing 5-match series.
‘Bowled 30 overs last week’
Interestingly, former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly had earlier claimed that the experienced swing bowler should not be picked even if he were to regain full fitness due to the perceived loss in pace. Particularly, the left-hander pointed to the likelihood of the Vizag pitch being a rank turner as evidenced during the fifth ODI against New Zealand while giving his opinion.
However, an undeterred Anderson felt, “We initially thought maybe the fourth Test was a possibility. But, the way I've progressed over the last three or four weeks has been positive. I had a stress fracture of the shoulder blades at the back of my shoulder. It was a bit weird, I think it was just workload thing. I injured the muscle against Sri Lanka in May. The stress fracture has healed now and hopefully that will last.”
“I bowled 30 overs last week and now it is just about carrying that on and maybe upping the intensity a little bit. The rest is just standing around, and getting those miles in the legs and being used to being on your feet for seven or eight hours a day.”
Anderson also heaped praises on Stuart Broad for reaching the landmark of 100 Tests during the ongoing match at Rajkot. Going by his own assessment, it does not seem far-fetched that he could join his long time new-ball partner when the second Test at the Dr YS Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium begins on the 17th.