James Anderson will be cast into the role of frustrated onlooker for this week’s third Test against West Indies after England’s selectors opted to rest him for the dead rubber at Edgbaston.
Anderson’s exclusion had been expected after England had hinted at a desire to rotate their seamers amid a busy summer schedule.
With England’s number one Test status on the line in the three-Test series South Africa from next month, and limited-overs series against West Indies and Australia to come before then, Anderson has been put in cotton wool.
It is a scenario the 29-year-old right-armer admitted he would not be happy with before an otherwise unchanged 12-man squad was announced this morning.
Anderson declared himself fully fit to play, undermining suggestions he had struggled with a quad strain during the series-clinching nine-wicket win at Trent Bridge last week, and claimed he had already had enough rest time between matches.
But despite the Lancastrian’s apparent protests national selector Geoff Miller said his omission had been made in his “best interests”.
“James Anderson will miss this Test as we look to manage his workload ahead of a busy period of cricket this summer and beyond, a decision which is in the best interests of the team and James himself,” he said.
“We have been made to work hard for our two victories so far and are delighted to have secured the series, however we know that we will need to continue to play some good cricket if we want a third win.”
A depth in talent in the fast bowling stocks has ensured England will remain firm favourites to continue their winning ways and whitewash the Windies at Edgbaston, with either Steven Finn or Graham Onions to step into the team.