JAMES Anderson will be cast into the role of frustrated onlooker for this week’s third Investec Test against West Indies after England’s selectors opted to rest him for the dead rubber at Edgbaston.
Anderson’s exclusion had been expected after England had hinted at a desire to rotate their seamers amid a busy summer schedule.
With England’s number one Test status on the line in the three-Test series South Africa from next month, and limited-overs series against West Indies and Australia to come before then, Anderson has been put in cotton wool.
It is a scenario the 29-year-old right-armer admitted he would not be happy with before an otherwise unchanged 12-man squad was announced yesterday.
Anderson declared himself fully fit to play, undermining suggestions he had struggled with a quad strain during the series-clinching nine-wicket win at Trent Bridge last week, and claimed he had already had enough rest time between matches.
“It would be extremely disappointing for me to miss out,” he said. “It would be different if I felt fatigued or was struggling with an injury.
“But I believe I am fit to play - and while I am fit to play I want to play in every England game I can.
“Resting players is going to happen more and more often as the schedule gets busier and the ECB has been excellent at monitoring players to keep them fit and ready.
“Sure, this series has been hard work - back-to-back Tests always are; that’s what we are used to and have to deal with the world over. But five days of rest is more than enough to be ready to play again.
“This winter, I was rested for the one-day series in India, Steve Finn bowled out of his skin and kept his place for the one-dayers in Dubai. Had Tim Bresnan not been injured for those, would I have got my place back?”
Anderson has missed just one of England’s past 25 Tests, since he was rested for the 2010 tour of Bangladesh, and as leader of the attack has inspired his side’s rise to the top Test ranking.
But despite the Lancastrian’s apparent protests national selector Geoff Miller said his omission had been made in his “best interests”.
“James Anderson will miss this Investec Test as we look to manage his workload ahead of a busy period of cricket this summer and beyond, a decision which is in the best interests of the team and James himself,” he said.
Yorkshire’s CB40 match with Northants Steelbacks yesterday at Headingley Carnegie was abandoned without a ball bowled after heavy rain.
The Tykes are next in action on Wednesday when they start their County Championship match in Colwyn Bay against Glamorgan.