Anderson predicts enforced rests
James Anderson is “desperate” to return to action after missing England’s tour of Bangladesh – but claims it is inevitable that his team-mates will also be forced to take a break this year.
The pace bowler rested a knee injury while England completed whitewashes in the three-match one-day series and two-Test campaign in Bangladesh, which concluded this week with a nine-wicket win in Mirpur.
Captain Andrew Strauss was another notable absentee for the six-week trip, which represented a rare opportunity for both to take time away from the game after a hectic winter and equally busy 12 months ahead.
The World Twenty20 in the West Indies starting in late April is England’s next assignment, before they take on Bangladesh, Australia and Pakistan during a congested international summer.
There follows the small matter of England’s Ashes defence in Australia over the winter, followed by the World Cup in the sub-continent which gets under way next February.
Given such a demanding schedule, ECB managing director of cricket Hugh Morris has admitted England must “look very closely” at resting players, and Anderson knows it is unlikely that he and his colleagues will play in every contest.
“With the schedule that we’ve got over the next year, they’ll be resting a few more players along the way,” Anderson said of the selectors.
“They might not want a rotation policy as such, but maybe a one-day series against Australia which takes three weeks out of the summer might be a good chance to rest someone.
“I’m not sure a rotation policy will come in just yet, but it’s getting that way.
“I love playing cricket and playing for England, so I want to play as much as possible. But at the same time I want to be fit for the Ashes at the end of the year.”
The injury remains something of a mystery – but he has experienced no discomfort since having another cortisone injection shortly after England’s return from South Africa in January.
He is now bowling at three-quarter pace in the indoor nets, and has set his sights on making his comeback in Lancashire’s pre-season friendly against Durham MCCU at the Riverside, starting next Saturday.
Having felt “left out” as he was forced to watch England from afar – although he shunned the 3am starts to catch the live television coverage – he is relishing the chance to get back to playing duties.
“I’m just desperate to get out there,” he added. “It feels like quite a long time since we got back from South Africa and I’ve been twiddling my thumbs at home.
“It’s been strange. At first I thought I’d be quite happy not to play on those wickets (in Bangladesh) because they’re not really conducive to seam bowling, but then when you see it reversing you think, actually, I’d like to have a bowl.
“I’m enjoying bowling at the minute and I’m bowling without any pain, albeit a stump indoors. I feel in good rhythm in the nets, but it’s hard to say until you get out into the middle and play a game.”