Anderson eyes comeback in time for India

ENGLAND seamer James Anderson is confident he will be fit to play some part in the team’s Test tour of India starting in November after sitting out October’s two-match series in Bangladesh with a shoulder injury.

England’s most prolific wicket-taker in Tests sustained a stress fracture during the home series against Sri Lanka in June, although he did play three matches against Pakistan in July and August.

He was ruled out of England’s Tests in Bangladesh after aggravating the injury to his left shoulder blade that caused him to miss the first Test against Pakistan.

“I feel fine,” Anderson told ESPNcricinfo at Lord’s. “It’s a frustrating injury where everything feels good, the rest of my body feels great, but as soon as I try to bowl I’ve got a bit of pain there.

“I’ve got another scan in three weeks to see if it’s healed enough for me to start bowling.”

England’s director of cricket, Andrew Strauss, recently said he was unsure when Anderson would return to the side with the five-Test series against India starting in Rajkot on November 9.

Anderson, who has amassed 463 wickets in the five-day format, hopes to be fully fit to take on the world’s top-ranked Test side in conditions that are unlikely to assist the pacemen. “I’m not going to miss the entire trip, no,” he said. “I’m very confident I’m going to be involved in the India series.”

“It is a frustrating injury, something I want to get right, but it does happen in cricket.

“In sport, you get injured, you’ve just got to deal with it and hopefully I can get as fit as possible as soon as possible.”

Meanwhile, fellow fast bowler Stuart Broad has fallen out of contention for a regular starting place in England’s one-day international (ODI) side but the Test stalwart is “desperate” to represent his country at the 2019 World Cup on home soil.

Broad, who climbed to the top of the Test bowler rankings earlier in 2016, was part of the England side that made an embarrassing group stage exit at the 2015 World Cup and has barely featured since.

England have prospered in white-ball cricket after making sweeping changes to their tactics and personnel in the wake of the disastrous showing in Australia and New Zealand, and Broad has only featured in two matches during that rebuilding period.

England and Wales are hosting the 2017 Champions Trophy and the World Cup two years later, and 30-year-old Broad is determined to do everything necessary to fight his way back into the side.

“I’m desperate, as I think every England cricketer would be, to play at the 2019 World Cup in England,” Broad, who has taken 178 wickets in 121 ODIs, told Sky Sports.

“It is a long way away but it will creep up,” he said.

“The tricky part of playing a lot of Test cricket — I’ve played 48 on the bounce now — is you don’t actually get a lot of time to play white-ball cricket so it’s quite hard to keep up with the standard in a game that moves forward so quickly.”

Since last appearing in those two ODIs in SA in February, Broad failed to feature in England’s home one-day series wins over Sri Lanka and Pakistan and was also overlooked for the three matches in Bangladesh, beginning on Friday.

“I’m trying to find more time to play white-ball cricket,” Broad added. “I’ve got a bit of a proven track record with the white ball, my stats are pretty good in the 50-over stuff, I just need to play a bit more of it.”




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