Stokes and McCullum can be a ‘perfect match’ for England, says Anderson

Anderson, who has 640 Test wickets, and Stuart Broad were dropped for England’s final Test tour of the West Indies in March but are expected to be recalled when new management appoint their first team tomorrow.

England are facing a rapid bowling injury crisis, with Caribbean debutants Saqib Mahmood and Matt Fisher both ruled out for the season yesterday with stress fractures.

Anderson is confident, however, that McCullum, the former New Zealand captain, and Stokes will bring infectious positivity that will help England put a ‘sorry’ run behind them. They have won only one of their last 17 games.

Speaking at the LV=Insurance test partners event in Leicester announcing the support of 4,000 grassroots cricket coaches through the #Funds4Runs community initiatives, Anderson said: “Knowing them both like me, it’s a really positive decision. They are positive thinking cricketers.

James Anderson is set to be recalled to the England Test fold under new captain Ben Stokes

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“Brendon is someone I’ve played a lot of cricket against, and since he’s finished playing I’ve spent some time with him off the pitch as well. Seeing how he got there taken to play the game and be captain of New Zealand, he was a true forward thinker, he thought outside the box.

“From a test team perspective, I think it will be really good. He will bring fresh ideas, energy to this group.

“Ben will do the same with his captaincy, he’s a very energetic guy, passionate about English cricket, and he’s just a born leader. Hopefully from an English cricket perspective it’s a game in heaven.

“I think both of these appointments are positive and should help the Test team get back to where they can be, as we’ve had a few shady years and we’re in a sad position in the Test Championship.”

Anderson said he has enjoyed his own return to action with Lancashire this season, including a good battle with former skipper Joe Root in the Roses game over the weekend. Root scored 147 runs in the first inning, before Anderson beat him hard for five in the second.

Anderson thinks Stokes can work well with new Test coach Brendon McCullum

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Anderson has played three matches, taken 11 wickets, and says he is in a “really good place”.

“I had a three-month break between the end of the Ashes and that first game for Lancs, so I was a little rusty in the first game,” he said. “It gets better and better as I go bowling.

“The first game was tough because we didn’t have warm-up cricket, just in it. But since I felt like I did pretty well. I used the free time wisely, to get as fit as possible in the gym, to make sure my bowling was in order, and now I feel pretty good.

James Anderson and other England cricketers stun Leicester Electricity Sports Cricket Club in a friendly inter-squad match hosted by test partners LV= Insurance. The club will receive support to train a new coach and relaunch their women’s team as part of LV= and the ECB’s commitment to support 4,000 coaches through its community initiative #Funds4Runs. To visit https://www.lv.com/gi/cricket-funds4runs for more information


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