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Jimmy Anderson admits he doubted the future of the test after the West Indies snub | jimmy anderson

Jimmy Anderson admits he doubted the future of the test after the West Indies snub | jimmy anderson

There was a moment over the winter when Jimmy Anderson reflected on his commitment to Test cricket. It didn’t last long but, as England’s top wicket-taker watched from afar while Joe Root’s team succumbed to a 1-0 series loss in the West Indies, he wondered if his 19-year career had come to an end.

“I definitely asked myself the question,” he says. “But I think the more time went by, the more I, you know…I was always with the [Lancashire] guys who train before the season. I was always doing the gym work and never got tired of it. I wanted to be there to do it. No matter what was going to happen in the summer, I wanted to start the season with Lancashire.

“The [Test squad] has not yet been selected. So we are waiting to see what will happen with that. If I get called up for a test, that’s great, but right now I’m really enjoying playing cricket.

“I’ve also talked about it with my family and they’ve seen it like me, that I have more to give to the game. Whether it’s for Lancashire or for England, I always have the ability to take counters and I want to continue to do so.

Any lingering doubts – as well as Root’s stumps – were shattered on Sunday after Anderson reiterated he was still capable of firing the best hitters in the world. It was a wonderful ball, thrown a good length around a fourth stump line before bowing with a hint of reverse swing. Two splash posts testified to Anderson’s enduring power.

“Obviously the player matters because he was their best player,” Anderson said, resisting the temptation to insert greater significance into the captain’s bowling. who kicked him out of his last tour squad. “We didn’t argue or anything. I spoke to him before he announced he was quitting. There’s still a lot of respect between the two of us, so there’s no animosity.

Jimmy Anderson could be set for a comeback under the management of Ben Stokes.
Jimmy Anderson could be set for a comeback under the management of Ben Stokes. Photo: Nigel French/PA

Anderson, however, allowed himself to watch the replay multiple times. And why not? It has been hard work for County Championship bowlers this season. Against dull balls and on flat pitches, teams recorded 20 scores over 500, down from 12 for the entire campaign last year.

Not that Anderson is complaining. He relishes the challenge and believes a tough transplant will serve England well as the team – currently bottom of the ICC Test Championship standings – enter a new era. under the direction of Brendon McCullum.

“It’s really exciting,” Anderson said of the New Zealander’s appointment as Test coach, oblivious to his lack of experience coaching a red ball team. “He always wants the aggressive option.

“He certainly did when he played and when he was captain. I’m sure he will bring that from his coaching perspective as well. With him and Ben [Stokes, England’s new captain]we will never back down.

“[Stokes] is a natural leader and the guys all look up to him in the locker room. He is the toughest coach in the group and sets an example of how to be an international cricketer. It will be awesome.

Stokes and Rob Key, the new director of cricket, spoke enthusiastically about Anderson and his eternal partner Stuart Broad, who was also omitted from the Caribbean tour. With a long list of injured fast bowlers – including Lancashire team-mate Saqib Mahmood, as well as Mark Wood, Jofra Archer and Olly Stone – Anderson looks set to be recalled for the first Test against New Zealand next month.

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