AND captain Andrew Strauss expects both England and James Anderson to benefit from the decision to rest the latter from today’s third Test against West Indies, believing him to be key to England’s chances throughout a strenuous summer schedule.
Strauss’s men face West Indies at Edgbaston today in the final Test of a series that stands at 2-0 and in which England have already secured victory, effectively rendering today’s meeting meaningless, but do so without Anderson after the decision was taken to rotate their seamers.
Following today’s fixture, England have a more testing one-day schedule against Australia before a series against South Africa and Strauss believes that, as with resting fast bowler Anderson, it is those England must prepare for.
“Jimmy Anderson’s missed out on this one, with good reason,” said Strauss, 35. “It’s a tough thing for any player to not play in a Test match, but with the schedules that there are in international cricket, from a management point of view you’ve got to manage your resources sensibly.
“This was one of those occasions where an opportunity presented itself and we all think it’s prudent that we take the opportunity with Jimmy and hopefully that will allow him to be fresh for the rest of the summer and beyond.
“I think the idea of rotating and resting is that you end up then playing more, not less. The last thing we want is someone to be playing to an extent they’re dead on their feet and then get injured and are out for months.
“That’s what we’re trying to avoid and hopefully, by missing the odd game here and there, that will allow that not to happen.”
Anderson could be joined in his absence by wicketkeeper Matt Prior after he suffered an eye infection that potentially deprives him of a 55th Test cap today. Though Jonathan Bairstow has consequently already been included in their likely team, Steve Davies has also been called up and will be considered this morning before a final decision is taken.