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England’s pace spearhead, James Anderson has come down heavily on the crammed Test series schedule against India.
The 35-year old is set for a six-week spell on the sidelines after experiencing a recurrence of discomfort in a long-standing right shoulder injury.
England’s leading Test wicket-taker suffered a stress fracture in the shoulder in 2016. It had continued to trouble him since them. In fact, he had previously also said it hurts even when brushing his teeth or putting on a shirt.
As a result of the current recurrence of the injury, he will now miss Lancashire’s next two County Championship matches against Worcestershire and Hampshire later this month.
With an eye on the upcoming five-Test series against India in July, the England star is taking no chances.
However, the pacer is not at all happy with the way the series against India is scheduled.
“My shoulder has been an issue ongoing for the last couple of years. It is just managing it and looking after it best way I can,” he told BBC Radio’s Test Match Special.
“I just need to get in the gym and get it strong. The India schedule is ridiculous with five Tests in six weeks, and that will put a lot of stress on it,” he added. “The way the fixtures have fallen it is a shame I will miss some games for Lancashire.”
Earlier, England coach Trevor Bayliss explained the rationale for resting Anderson.
“We have five Tests against India in a six-week period from August 1, which will be an intense and challenging period for all our bowlers, and therefore it’s vital that we ensure Jimmy goes into that series in the best possible condition,” said Bayliss.
“Jimmy has to manage the issue with his right shoulder. And we’ve been advised that the best way for him to prepare for the India series is to take a six-week break from cricket now. Initially to rest it and then to work slowly back to cricket,” he added. “That six-week period covers Lancashire’s two Championship matches (against Worcestershire and Hampshire) over the next three weeks. We will then monitor to see where Jimmy is at and ensuring he is ready for the India series.”
Anderson recently played in both the Tests against Pakistan. The veteran pacer took nine wickets, as England drew the series 1-1.
He is now hopeful of returning to the first-class action in Lancashire’s ‘Roses match’ against traditional rivals Yorkshire in July.
“The idea is to put in the work now and be ready for the end of July Championship game against Yorkshire. And then get through the five Test matches if possible,” he said. “It is wear and tear. Rehab improves it and makes it feel better. It is just about trying to manage it through certain periods.”