England pace spearhead James Anderson will start his competitive cricket return ECB selectors overlooked for the first Test against Pakistan as he back from an injury layoff. Anderson will play for Lancashire today (Saturday) to prove his fitness to the England selectors before the second Test start with Pakistan at Old Trafford, which starts on next Friday.
The 33-year-old veteran is unhappy after he was left out from the first Test at the Lord’s as he believes he recovered from a slight stress fracture in his right shoulder that was detected during a scan for a minor muscle strain after the series win over Sri Lankan last month.
England captain Alastair Cook and the coach, Trevor Bayliss wanted Anderson in the team for the first Test as the right arm bowler inclusion would add experience in the bowling attack. But selection panel James Whitaker, Mick Newell, and Angus Fraser were not convinced by Anderson’s fitness.
Anderson will play against Durham in Lancashire’s Division One match at Southport. Another England player who was also not selected in the Pakistan Test is Ben Stokes who is free to play during the whole match for Durham as he looks confident after recovering from his left knee following surgery at the end of May.
England have issued an instruction to Durham on how many overs Stokes can bowl in each session, knowing how keen the all-rounder will be to prove his own fitness for the second Test. If Stokes emerge fit than selectors will face a dilemma.
In the absence of James Anderson, Jack Ball made his debut for England and Chris Stokes replaced Ben Stokes.
England in the opening Test against Pakistan have gone with Stuart Broad, Steven Finn, Jack Ball, Chris Woakes and only spinner Moin Ali.
Pakistan in the first inning against this bowling attack scored 339. And Captain Misbah-ul-Haq scored a hundred.