James Anderson admitted he was frustrated by missing the second Test against India but believes England’s policy of rest and rotation will prove beneficial to both him and the team over time. After playing a starring role as England won the series opener, Anderson was left out of the side as India levelled the series with a crushing win in the second with the tourists keen to have their leading-wicket taker fully fit for the day-night Test in Ahmedabad.
“It’s obviously mixed emotions missing out after playing pretty well in the first Test, you’ve got to look at the bigger picture I guess,” Anderson said. “The idea was if I missed [the second Test] then it would give me a better chance to be fit and firing for the pink-ball Test. I’m feeling good and fresh, and ready to go again if called upon.”
“I don’t think I’m being shielded; I think that is the wrong term to use,” he added. “It’s a case of trying to stay fit for as long as possible. I’ve seen the last couple of years, 2019 when I missed the Ashes and a little bit at the start of 2020 when I got an injury in South Africa – it’s not just me, it’s all bowlers, but when the workload builds up, those injuries do happen. We’ve got 17 Test matches this year and I think the best way of getting your best players firing for as many of those as possible is to take little rests every now and then.”
“It’s not a case of shielding, it’s trying to make sure that you’re not just wearing someone out until they completely break in half.” Anderson continued. “I can only see positives coming out of this. For me, hopefully, it is going to keep me going longer and Stuart will say the same, it will keep him going for longer. Obviously there will be times when we’re frustrated and want to play, but the coaches and the medical team are taking the thought process that we want to keep everyone as fit as possible so we can pick and choose who can play at certain times. Hopefully, it will benefit those players having a rest every now and then.”