James Anderson unlikely to play second Test against India in Chennai
James Anderson is likely to be rested from the second Test against India starting on Saturday in Chennai despite a match-winning spell of bowling on Day 5 of the first Test match at the same venue.
The 38-year-old legendary fast bowler in all probability be replaced by another modern-day great Stuart Broad as England are likely to stick to their rotation policy irrespective of the match result.
"It is hard (to leave Anderson out), he is a class act, you’ll have to wait and see... But I'm not reluctant to change the winning team," England head coach Chris Silverwood said ahead of the second Test in Chennai from Saturday.
Stuart Board had played the first Test against Sri Lanka while Anderson replaced him in the second in Galle as they blanked the Islanders 2-0 before coming to India.
"Broady didn’t play in the last game and we’ve many bowlers here who we could play at any given point," said Silverwood.
Anderson may have looked fitter and better than ever but with the heat and humid conditions on offer here and keeping with the crammed schedule of the four-match Test series, Silverwood said it's the best option.
"It's the best thing to do for the players and it's the best thing to do for the team and the longevity of it.
"I mean you run the risk of opposite result being different. But you could play the same team, and the result could still be different...
Anderson blew away the Indian batting with his lethal display of reverse swing on the final day to hand England a massive 227-run win in the opening Test.
"He is in the best shape of his life. And it hasn't gone unnoticed, he's worked extremely hard in his fitness. And he's in great shape and he's bowling beautifully," the English coach said in a virtual news conference on Wednesday.
Asked if Anderson can push it to 40, he said: "That's Jimmy's choice... As long as he's fit, strong and healthy, and wants to play then he will feel the time for it, doesn't it?" Anderson produced one of the best spells of pace bowling, claiming two key wickets of Shubman Gill and Ajinkya Rahane in four balls to trigger India's collapse.
Asked whether they are ready to rotate their spinners as well by bringing in Moeen Ali in place of Dom Bess, he said: "Everything's on the table. We are rotating the fast bowlers. If we feel we need to do it, then we have the options available to rotate the spin bowlers as well." The off-spinner, who took the prized scalp of Virat Kohli in the first innings en route to a match haul of five wickets, bowled a flurry of full tosses in the fourth innings as his performance dropped.
"I'm not worried, to be honest. You know, I mean we've had a chat with him afterwards, he's still in good spirits and you know what everybody has a bad day every now and again. "I can accept that it's not through lack of effort or anything like that. So for me, we get to the nets tomorrow, we'll work hard again, we'll find him some rhythm. And surely he can get us wickets."
(With PTI inputs)