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House divided on Anderson's fitness

England left James Anderson out of their 12-man squad announced on Sunday for the third and final Test against the West Indies at Edgbaston starting on Thursday.

cricket Updated: Jun 04, 2012 00:37 IST

England left James Anderson out of their 12-man squad announced on Sunday for the third and final Test against the West Indies at Edgbaston starting on Thursday.

The England selectors insisted the 29-year-old Lancashire star was being omitted to "overcome several minor injury niggles" rather than being rested on grounds of squad rotation.

Is there a rift?
However, in a move that could cause a rift between the England hierarchy and their leading bowler, Anderson himself insisted he was fit to play in his Sunday newspaper column.

Seamers Steven Finn and Graham Onions, yet to feature in the series but included in 13-man squads ahead of five-wicket and nine-wicket wins at Lord's and Trent Bridge respectively that have given England an unbeatable 2-0 lead in the series, will compete to fill the place left vacant by Anderson's absence.

However, England could play both bowlers were they to rest Anderson's regular new-ball partner and Twenty20 captain Stuart Broad.

An England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) statement said Anderson had received treatment during the second Test at Trent Bridge for a minor quad problem.

It added that missing the final Test would give Anderson, whose tally of 267 wickets in 70 matches leaves him fifth in the list of England's most successful Test bowlers, time to overcome "several minor injuries".

Anderson has missed just one of England's past 25 Tests, since he was rested from the 2010 tour of Bangladesh, and national selector Geoff Miller said his omission had been in the "best interests" of the bowler.

"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," Miller said.

Counterview
But Anderson, in his column for the Mail Today, published before the squad was made public, said: "It would be extremely disappointing for me to miss out."