Veteran pacer James Anderson has stated that he is hopeful of a comeback in the England Test setup under the leadership of new skipper Ben Stokes.
Anderson, who has played 169 Test matches and picked up 640 wickets was left out of England's tour of the West Indies. His exclusion, along with that of his pace bowling partner Stuart Broad was attributed to a reset of English Test cricket after their 4-0 series defeat in the Ashes against Australia.
England though fared poorly in the Caribbean, losing the three-match series 1-0, with Joe Root deciding to step down as the Test skipper, paving the way for Ben Stokes to take over. This has left England languishing at the bottom of the ICC World Test Championship 2021-23 standings.
The appointment of Stokes as the captain and Rob Key as the Director of the men's team has paved the way for the pair to make a comeback.
Key stated in his press conference that the pair would be reintroduced in the Test setup, saying, "One of the first things Ben Stokes said was 'Jimmy and Broady are coming back' and I agree. It might've been a different story had we not agreed. But it wasn't up for debate."
Anderson has now been encouraged by the positive message coming out from the new leadership group of England. Speaking to BBC Radio Lancashire, Anderson said that he was elated that there was still a chance for him and Broad to play international cricket. "Stuart and I were hoping our careers weren't over. So it's nice to hear there's a chance."
Anderson, 39, added that he will still have to earn his place in the England XI with consistent performances in the County Championship. "It still means we've got to put in some performances here with our counties to prove that we're playing well enough to get in that final XI.
"Because of the situation and not having people in these roles, you're just so unsure of what's going to happen. So now having that clarity is really nice."
🏴 England look to turn over a new leaf with the appointment of Ben Stokes as their new Test captain.— ICC (@ICC) April 29, 2022
What sort of captain will the all-rounder be? 👉 https://t.co/J3hnbQ64j5#WTC23 pic.twitter.com/9AiX9ln0gn
Anderson also praised Ben Stokes, calling him a "natural leader who has the respect of the group", adding that he was the obvious choice to become the next England captain.
Anderson concluded that it was time for English cricket to get back to winning ways, having struggled recently. "We've had a tough few years, we're down the bottom of the Test Championship. English cricket needs to get back to winning Test matches."
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