Veteran England pacer James Anderson on Wednesday said he’s keeping his “fingers crossed” for a return against India in the fifth rearranged Test match beginning at Edgbaston on Friday.
Anderson, who will turn 40 next month, missed his side’s 3-0 sweep over reigning World Test champions New Zealand at Headingley because of “puffy ankle”, though he was seen bowling during breaks in the Test.
“I hate missing games. After that game at Headingley the feeling around the group is so good you want to be around it as much as possible,” Anderson told Sky Sports.
“It was disappointing to miss the last game, seeing the guys out on the field having a good time and playing well. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that I can get back in this week,” he added.
Up 2-1, India’s fifth Test at Old Trafford last September was halted due to concerns over a COVID-19 outbreak in their camp.
Having posted just one win from 17 Tests, England began a new era of aggressive brand of cricket under Brendon McCullum as head coach and Ben Stokes as their captain.
With the mood in the camp buoyant, Anderson said he’s motivated to return to action.
“We’ve started brilliantly, and I think we’ve shown what style of cricket we want to play under Ben (Stokes) and Brendan (McCullum).”
“Having got to know those two and see them work together over the past few weeks, they’ll want to build on that and not just settle for those performances. They’ll want even better performances as we go, even more positive cricket, and I think that’s really exciting,” Anderson said.
“I certainly feel like I’ve got a smile on my face on the field a bit more than I normally have! It’s just been so much fun playing with this group and the style of cricket that we have been playing,” he further added.
England’s wicketkeeper-batter Ben Foakes has been ruled out of the game against India, with Sam Billings being named in the 15-man squad as his replacement.
In the bowling department, Stuart Broad might miss out, having played all three Tests against New Zealand.