England skipper Alastair Cook has expressed his happiness over James Anderson’s inclusion in the 14-man squad for the second Test against England which starts on July 21 at Old Trafford.

The English captain also backed the selectors’ decision to leave Anderson out of the first Test. Anderson, who suffered a shoulder injury during the Sri Lanka series, said that he could play the first match but the selectors did not take any chance.

“It’s great to have Jimmy back. He’s an outstanding bowler, it’s great to have him fully fit,” said the England Test captain on the eve of the game. “If he’d bowled 30 overs and really hurt his shoulder, and was out again, we’d all be sitting here and be disappointed with that decision.

“In hindsight, he could have played that game – because obviously, he went and played for Lancashire and got through that. We probably erred on the side of caution, and have to hope we now have him for three games.”

Cook, who himself was in favour of including Anderson in the team for the first Test, said that things were blown out proportion following the selectors’ decision to rest Anderson.

“A lot has been blown out of proportion,” Cook said. “Unfortunately, we didn’t play the greatest game of cricket. So then people start jumping on things which were less important, but became more so because we lost.

“If we’d played really good cricket, and won the game – and the 11 guys were certainly capable of that – then that story wouldn’t be blown up like it has been.

“It’s happened. It was a slightly messy affair, no one intended it to be like that and we’ve got to move on, and play better cricket. It’s been a bit of a sideshow – an unimportant sideshow, really.”

Steven Finn and James Vince, who were a part of the playing XI in the Lord’s Test, have been dropped England squad for the second Test.

The duo was initially included in a 14-player squad for the clash after playing in the 75-run defeat  at Lord’s, but were excluded from Thursday’s 12-man squad.


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