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England vs Pakistan: James Anderson 'likely' to feature in second Test despite sub-par performance, says Joe Root

1 month ago 6

Southampton: James Anderson is set to be given an immediate chance to come good against Pakistan with England captain Joe Root saying on Wednesday it was "likely" the veteran paceman would feature in this week's second Test.

By his own admission the 38-year-old Anderson, England's all-time leading wicket-taker, was not at his best with a match haul of 1-67 during the win in the series opener at his Old Trafford home ground last week.

England’s James Anderson, left, passes the ball to teammate Stuart Broad during the fifth day of the third cricket Test match between England and West Indies at Old Trafford in Manchester, England, Tuesday, July 28, 2020. (Michael Steele/Pool via AP)

He has now taken just six wickets in three Tests so far this season at an expensive average of over 41 apiece.

But Anderson, speaking earlier this week, bristled at suggestions he was contemplating retirement and Root had no hesitation in backing him, even if the skipper was coy about who else might be in England's team for the second Test in Southampton, which starts on Thursday.

"Jimmy is likely to play, yes," Root told reporters.

"Wouldn't you give him the opportunity with nearly 600 wickets? To get that stuff off his chest and talked about has definitely helped him. With Jimmy it won't be long before he's right back at the peak of his powers and I'm very much looking forward to him performing this week," Root added.

"I don't think it will be long before he's got another five-for beside his name."

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