Fingers crossed: Veteran pacer James Anderson racing against time to get fit ahead of India Test match

Veteran England pacer James Anderson has been racing against time to get match fit ahead of the rescheduled Test match against India. The right-arm medium pacer revealed on Wednesday that he has been keeping his ‘fingers crossed’ for a return against India in the fifth Test match beginning at Edgbaston on Friday, 1 June.

Anderson, who will turn 40 next month, missed his side’s 3-0 sweep over reigning World Test champions New Zealand at Headingley because of “puffy ankle”, though he was seen bowling during breaks in the Test.

“I hate missing games. After that game at Headingley the feeling around the group is so good you want to be around it as much as possible,” Anderson told Sky Sports.

“It was disappointing to miss the last game, seeing the guys out on the field having a good time and playing well. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that I can get back in this week,” he added.

Up by 2-1, India’s fifth Test match at Old Trafford last September was halted due to concerns over a COVID-19 outbreak in their camp. The rescheduled Test match could look very different than the proceedings in the original series, which saw a defensive England side under the captaincy of Joe Root.

Ben Stokes’ England have been on a rampage, playing an aggressive brand of cricket, with a philosophy of running towards danger instead of away from it.

“We’ve started brilliantly, and I think we’ve shown what style of cricket we want to play under Ben (Stokes) and Brendan (McCullum).”

“Having got to know those two and see them work together over the past few weeks, they’ll want to build on that and not just settle for those performances. They’ll want even better performances as we go, even more positive cricket, and I think that’s really exciting,” Anderson said.

Anderson revealed that the camp has been quite upbeat, which makes playing more enjoyable in the new regime.

“I certainly feel like I’ve got a smile on my face on the field a bit more than I normally have! It’s just been so much fun playing with this group and the style of cricket that we have been playing,” he said.

Notably, Anderson and Broad were left frustrated in the Covid-19 era where England tried to manage the workloads and bio-bubble lives of the players.

Barring Anderson, England have injury concerns in their primary keeper Ben Foakes, who has been replaced with Sam Billings in the team.

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