England star James Anderson vows to return before end of Ashes
Injured bowler disagrees with the idea that he should have had a warm-up match before first Test
London — England’s record wicket taker, James Anderson, is determined to return to the team before the Ashes series with Australia ends in September, he told The Sun on Wednesday.
The 37-year-old has been ruled out of the second Ashes Test, which starts next Wednesday at Lord’s, after injuring his right calf having bowled just four overs in the series opener at Edgbaston as Australia romped to a 251-run victory.
Anderson, who has taken 575 Test wickets, had not played competitive cricket for a month leading into the match after injuring the same calf playing for Lancashire.
“I’m pretty confident I can get over this, I want to keep going,” said Anderson. “The plan is to get back and play some part in the Ashes but if that doesn’t work out the winter [tours to New Zealand and SA] is absolutely on my radar.
“I’m sure there will come a point where other bowlers either get injured or need a rest. If one needs to be replaced, it might work out well if I can get myself fit and help towards the end of the series.”
Anderson, whose place at Lord’s is likely to be taken by young paceman Jofra Archer, said injuries are part and parcel of his advancing years. “I’m at the age now when there’s a chance injuries will happen more,” he said. “It’s something I’ve got to prepare for. But I’m very fortunate — I’ve been lucky with having so few throughout my career.”
Anderson, who is nicknamed “The King of Swing”, said he felt awful watching from the sidelines as the England attack struggled against the Australians especially in the second innings.
“Devastating and horrible are the best words to describe my feelings as I watched the other England bowlers toil in the first Test,” he said. “I felt guilty and apologised to the lads for leaving them in the lurch.”
However, Anderson rejected criticism that he should have had a game before he returned to the Test side to prove his fitness. Archer played in a second XI game for his county Sussex on Tuesday to prove he had recovered from a side strain.
“There’s been some talk I shouldn’t have been chosen at Edgbaston last week without first playing another game to prove my fitness following the torn calf muscle I suffered on July 2,” he said. “But I disagree with that. In my head, I was fit to play an Ashes Test. I’ve played in Test matches before after injury without first playing a county game or warm-up of some sort.”
Australia lead the five-Test series 1-0.