'Burnley Express' Anderson kept in dark by England set up

James Anderson is still struggling to make sense of his omission from the Test side and has had no communication from the England camp.

By Chris Boden
Tuesday, 12th April 2022, 11:00 am

England’s record wicket-taker was left out of the West Indies series last month, alongside long-term opening partner Stuart Broad.

Broad revealed that the pair, with 1,177 Test wickets between them, had only received a five-minute phone call from interim director of cricket Andrew Strauss to explain the decision.

Anderson, 39, is preparing to start the new season with Lancashire but says he is still unable to comprehend his England axe: “I’ve stopped trying to make sense of it and just put it to one side.

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MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - APRIL 11: James Anderson poses for a photograph during a Lancashire CCC Photocall at Emirates Old Trafford on April 11, 2022 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

“It was completely out of my control. I’ve got to focus on what I can control, and that is bowling as well as I possibly can. That is here these next two months, try and take as many wickets as I possibly can and see what happens from there.

“Something like this, for me, it’s quite a big deal because it came out of the blue a little bit. I still feel like I’m bowling well.

“I was in the top 10 of the world rankings so I feel like I’m doing a good job for the team. I feel like I’ve got a lot to offer, not just on the field but off it. I’ve really enjoyed working with the other bowlers that are coming through.

“I would have loved a sit-down, face-to-face, but obviously that’s not always possible in these situations.

“I would have loved more than a five-minute phone call, but again that’s not always possible.”

When asked if he has heard anything from the England set-up, Anderson replied: “No.”

England captain Joe Root suggested after their series defeat to the West Indies that the squad had made “big improvements” in attitude.

When asked what he made of Root’s comments, Anderson said: “I don’t know. I didn’t hear that. I’m not sure.

“I’ve done what I did for quite a long period of time, I feel like I know what I’m doing. I don’t think I’m extremely stubborn. I will take advice and feedback from people.

“You’d have to ask Joe what he means by that.”

Despite having 640 Test wickets under his belt, Anderson is in the strange position of having to make a point with his performances in the County Championship to win back his England place.

The Lancashire seamer admits he feels he has a point to prove: “I guess so. For me, if I think of how I build up to a Test series, I want to be in as good form as possible going into that series.

“The best way of doing that is performing for Lancashire, trying to win games of cricket. That’s been my mindset for ever really.

“Hopefully those performances will lead to a call-up and if not then at least we will get off to a good start to the season.

“If the England call doesn’t come, I will still play here this season. I have never looked too far ahead in my career. It’s always game by game, series by series, season by season.”