England great James Anderson is still unable to make sense of his controversial omission from the recent tour of the West Indies as he looks to revive his international career.
Both Anderson and Stuart Broad, England’s two all-time leading Test wicket-takers, were left out as part of a major shake-up following a humiliating 4-0 loss in Australia.
The decision was made by a selection panel headed by interim director of cricket Andrew Strauss – his predecessor Ashley Giles and England coach Chris Silverwood were both sacked after the Ashes debacle.
Both Anderson and Broad, England’s two all-time leading Test wicket-takers, have spoken of their disappointment at being told they had been left out by way of a five-minute phone call from Strauss.
Anderson (40), however, is determined to bowl his way back into the Test XI by starring for Lancashire in the first-class County Championship after England went down 1-0 in the Caribbean.
“I’ve stopped trying to make sense of it and just put it to one side,” Anderson said on Monday of his England axing. “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 [for Lancashire].
“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.”
Anderson, whose 640 wickets are the most taken by any fast bowler in Test history, added: “I was in the top 10 of the world rankings, so I feel like I’m doing a good job for the team.
“After an Ashes defeat everything comes under scrutiny. There’s lots going on, people losing their jobs and stuff.
“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.”
England captain Joe Root suggested after their series loss to the West Indies that the squad had made “big improvements” in attitude.
Anderson, rejecting suggestions he was difficult to captain, replied to Root’s comments and does not believe there was an issue during the Ashes.
When asked what he made of Root’s comments, Anderson said: “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.”
England face New Zealand in a three-Test series in June, before playing India in a match held over from last year by coronavirus concerns and then concluding their 2022 home Test campaign against South Africa.
In the meantime, Anderson, now a red-ball specialist, is looking forward to bowling for Lancashire.
“Hopefully those performances will lead to a [England] 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.”
© Agence France-Presse