England's Jimmy Anderson will play in second Test against Pakistan

Jimmy Anderson WILL play in second Test against Pakistan despite struggling at Old Trafford as England captain Joe Root backs his talisman: ‘I’m very much looking forward to seeing him perform this week’

  • Jimmy Anderson took just one wicket in the first Test against Pakistan 
  • His failure to have an impact sparked some talk of a retirement from the game
  • The 38-year-old will definitely play in Thursday’s second Test at the Ageas bowl 
  • Captain Joe Root adamant he will soon be back to his record-breaking best

England will on Thursday tell Jimmy Anderson to put the ‘one bad game’ that led to talk of his retirement behind him and bowl England to a series victory over Pakistan.

Anderson definitely plays in Thursday’s second Test at the Ageas Bowl, with captain Joe Root adamant he will soon be back to his record-breaking best despite taking just one wicket in the thrilling first Test victory at his home Emirates Old Trafford ground.

‘Wouldn’t you give an opportunity to someone with almost 600 Test wickets under his belt to put things right?’ asked Root on Wednesday when confirming Anderson plays in his fourth Test of the five so far this summer.

Jimmy Anderson (L) will definitely play in Thursday’s second Test against Pakistan

‘You should question Jimmy’s ability and record at your peril. There’s a reason he’s got so many wickets over such a long period of time. It’s because he’s a consistent performer and he will soon be back in the wickets big time.

‘It would be very silly for us to write Jimmy off. He’s still as dedicated as ever, he’s working very hard at his game and he’s been very good in practice. I don’t think it will be long before he’s got another five-for next to his name.’

Anderson, just turned 38, admitted his frustration at that one bad game earlier this week when he said he became emotional and frustrated at not being able to reach his usual high standards in the first Test. But he also said he was desperate to play on Thursday in a Test where England were initially expected to rest him and Root has granted his request.

Anderson struggled to make his usual impact in England’s win against Pakistan last week

‘We’ve had an honest conversation and for him to get things off his chest and talk about them has definitely helped him,’ said the England captain. ‘It just shows that even the greats of the game have those days where it doesn’t always come naturally, where it doesn’t always feel like the easiest game in the world and you know it can be a real struggle.   

‘That’s the way it goes but I feel with Jimmy we know it won’t be long before he’s back at the top and at the peak of his powers and I’m very much looking forward to seeing him perform this week.’

Root believes Anderson, who stands just 10 wickets away from the magical 600 figure, has been bowling better this summer than figures of just six victims in three Tests and none in the second innings of any Test suggest.

The 38-year-old, pictured in training on Wednesday, will get the chance to bounce back

‘It’s very easy just to look at the stats and not have a broad view of how things are going for you,’ added Root. ‘Sometimes you create pressure and wickets come at the other end and you build partnerships that way. I think there have been occasions this summer where that has been the case for Jimmy and as a bowling group it does ebb and flow.

‘Sometimes it’s your day and you pick up the plaudits and the wickets and other times you have to do the donkey work, look to go at two an over and play the holding role for the other guys to perform. 

‘He knows that deep down and I think it’s just the frustration of the whole summer, the different atmosphere to it and the fact that he has missed quite a lot of cricket over the last year or so. That might have been the build-up to why he wasn’t happy with his performance last time. I think we’re going to see the very best of him now.’

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