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Anderson declares himself fit for England selection; Saqib injury brightens veteran seamer’s chance

London, May 17 England’s bowling stalwart James Anderson has declared himself fit for selection as the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) looks set to announce the squad for the three-Test series against New Zealand, beginning at Lord’s on June 2.

Anderson, 39, was curiously dropped from the side that toured the Caribbean for a three-Test series despite some fine performances during the forgettable Ashes campaign over the winter.

But with England getting a new chief coach in New Zealand’s Brendon McCullum and charismatic all-rounder Ben Stokes as captain, Anderson is in contention to earn a recall to the Test setup for next month’s series against the Black Caps.

No seamer in the history of cricket has more Test wickets than Anderson, but the experienced right-arm is taking nothing for granted ahead of the squad announcement.

“I don’t want to be counting my chickens, I want to make sure I am bowling well, taking wickets, and in good form if and when that call comes,” ICC quoted Anderson as saying to Sky Sports. “For most of the year, I have been thinking about trying to start the season well for Lancashire and preparing for that.

“I feel in good shape, in good form, so I am happy with the way things are going and I will be absolutely delighted if I do get back into the team.”

Anderson’s return could turn around the fortunes of the side, which currently sits at the bottom of the World Test Championship (WTC) standings with just one Test victory in the last 12 months.

Anderson has given some decent performances in the three-county matches he has played for Lancashire over the past month, with the seamer picking up 11 wickets at an average of 19.54.

 

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