Anderson merits recall: Chilton
Lancashire captain Mark Chilton has saluted the work ethic which has propelled team-mate James Anderson back into the England squad for the deciding Ashes Test at the Oval this week.
Anderson and Durham all-rounder Paul Collingwood were named in a 13-man England squad as cover for Glamorgan seamer Simon Jones, who sustained a right ankle injury problem in last week’s thrilling fourth-Test victory at Trent Bridge.
The pair were promoted ahead of Hampshire’s Chris Tremlett, who has suffered an untimely loss of form after being included in the previous four squads but failing to break his way into the side for his debut.
Neither are expected to play if Jones, who has been having treatment in an oxygen chamber in an effort to accelerate his recovery, proves his fitness, but it is a welcome boost to Anderson all the same.
“We’re delighted for him at Lancashire,” enthused Chilton. “I think he struggled a bit at the start of the season, knowing that he had been in the squad but that other guys were being picked ahead of him.
“But in the last few weeks he has turned a corner. He did some technical work with Mike Watkinson, his confidence has come back and he is hitting the gloves harder.
“He has also stayed fit and played in every game. Basically he has realised the situation he was in, that he had to play a lot of county cricket and play well, and he has knuckled down to do that.”
Anderson’s reward for his hard work and technical sessions with Lancashire coach Watkinson has been 51 championship wickets this season, a vast improvement on his inconsistent display in his last Test against South Africa in Johannesburg when his lack of match practice told.
“He’s taken over 50 wickets for Lancashire on a notoriously flat wicket at Old Trafford,” enthused chairman of selectors David Graveney. “He’s bowled a lot of overs, taken a good share of wickets and in the last couple of games he’s bowled really well.
“Jimmy is a centrally contracted player who has been out of the loop recently. Things didn’t work out for him in the winter, but he’s gone away and played a lot of domestic cricket and I’m sure he’ll be pleased to get back in with the same group of lads.
“He knows what happens in the dressing room, he knows the form and that will be good for him next week.”
England also confirmed that Warwickshire batsman Ian Bell has fully recovered from the bout of cramp he suffered during Saturday’s C&G Trophy final defeat to Hampshire at Lord’s, although Collingwood is available to provide cover if he has a recurrence.