Anderson back in England squad for third Sri Lanka Test

James Anderson
England missed Anderson's variety during the drawn second Test

James Anderson has been recalled by England for the third Test against Sri Lanka, which starts on Thursday.

The seamer picked up a side strain injury in the surprise first Test win before missing the drawn second Test.

Anderson was hoping to prove his fitness in Lancashire's Twenty20 match at Worcestershire on Sunday but the game was abandoned because of rain.

His England return is likely to mean one of Stuart Broad, Steve Finn or Chris Tremlett being dropped.

While Broad, Finn and Tremlett offer height and pace, the trio, along with spinner Graeme Swann, struggled to take 20 wickets against Sri Lanka.

Anderson provides variety to the attack with his ability to swing the ball and is set to be an automatic choice for the first Test match to be played at the Rose Bowl, despite Lancashire's T20 game against Worcestershire succumbing to the weather.

"Getting my four overs of action would have helped that bit more, but unfortunately it's not to be," said Anderson.

"I'd quite like to get the overs under my belt because a match situation's very different to bowling in the nets. Unfortunately it's not going to happen, but I feel fine and hopefully I'll be fit for Thursday's Test.

"It was a very minor [strain]. I think it was more precautionary and if I'd carried on bowling in the Cardiff game it could have got a lot worse."

England national selector Geoff Miller said: "Side strains can be particularly troublesome for bowlers but given Jimmy's injury was a grade one strain and therefore a low grade injury, he is expected to be fit for selection.

"A period of rest and recovery has certainly been beneficial and we obviously wouldn't include Jimmy in the squad if the medical staff weren't confident of his fitness."

On the selection dilemma facing England's management, Miller added: "When you start being a successful side you do have to make difficult decisions so we will wait and see what the conditions are in Southampton and make the decision accordingly."

Anderson comes in for Jade Dernbach, who was named in the 12 for the second Test at Lord's but remains uncapped after not playing.

"I've had a chat with Jade and explained the situation but he now knows what the England set-up is all about, and we widen the squad," said Miller.

Other than the inclusion of Anderson, England are unchanged and, even though they had to settle for a draw last time out, Kevin Pietersen's second innings 72 provided encouragement that he is returning to form.

"He'll be pleased himself," said Miller. "Kevin Pietersen is a top quality player, we know that.

"He's had a tough time. He had a bad run and, yes, it eases the condition for him the fact that he knows he can score runs internationally and again he has proved it."

England squad v Sri Lanka, The Rose Bowl, 16-20 June: Andrew Strauss (capt), Alastair Cook, Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell, Eoin Morgan, Matt Prior (wkt), Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, Chris Tremlett, James Anderson, Steven Finn.

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