Mumbai: England received a major boost on Saturday as captain Alastair Cook declared that top bowler Jimmy Anderson had recovered from injury and was set to join the squad in India.
Cook said that Anderson, England’s all-time leading Test wicket-taker with 463 scalps, had been given the all-clear following a shoulder problem and could arrive in India as early as Tuesday.
“It’s really good news. He’s ready to come so it’s just about trying to get him out to Rajkot as quick as we can,” Cook, 31, told reporters in Mumbai.
The first Test of the five-match series starts in Rajkot, in western Gujarat state, on Wednesday as India seek revenge for a home series loss to England four years ago.
The powerful Anderson will miss the opening Test but could be ready to lead England’s attack for the second match, which starts in Andhra Pradesh state, on November 17, said Cook.
Anderson suffered a fractured shoulder blade last summer and had been dogged by a recurrence of the injury but passed fitness tests back home on Friday while the rest of the England squad were already training in India.
“I was chatting to him yesterday and the second Test is a good possibility. We’ll know when we see how his body reacts when he’s out here,” said the skipper.
Anderson took more wickets than any other pace bowler on either side when England won the 2012 series in India and Cook believes the fired-up 34-year-old could be the difference again.
“He’s worked incredibly hard to get back and has come back so much quicker than we thought.
“He’s up for it and is not just coming here to make up the numbers so that’s great for us. He wants to make a difference in this series,” Cook told a post-training press conference.