Nasser Hussain: England ‘sensible’ to leave James Anderson out of Sri Lanka tour | Cricket News

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Nasser Hussain

Cricket Expert & Columnist

Hussain says Jennings’ recall is ‘short term’ but understands why the selectors have picked Lancashire batsman

Last Updated: 11/02/20 10:22


http://www.skysports.com/

http://www.skysports.com/

2:17

Jimmy Anderson told Sky recently that he ‘feels as quick and as strong as ever’

Jimmy Anderson told Sky Sports recently that he ‘feels as quick and as strong as ever’

Nasser Hussain says England have been “sensible” in leaving James Anderson out of the two-Test series in in March.

Anderson declared himself fully fit from the cracked rib that prematurely ended his tour of South Africa in January, but has been overlooked so that he can prepare for the home Test summer, which features three matches against Pakistan and three against West Indies.

“If they were going anywhere but , I would pick Anderson straightaway but is such a backbreaker for seamers, so I think it is the most sensible thing to do,” said Sky Cricket expert Hussain, with the pitches for the series expected to favour spin.

Joe Root (captain), Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler (wk), Zak Crawley, Sam Curran, Joe Denly, Ben Foakes (wk), Keaton Jennings, Jack Leach, Matthew Parkinson, Ollie Pope, Dom Sibley, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood

Anderson injured himself in the Cape Town Test against South Africa, having taken his 28th Test five-wicket haul earlier in the game, in what was only his second England appearance since being struck down by a calf injury in the Ashes opener against Australia in August.

“At 37, do the selectors want him to play two Tests on spin-friendly pitches where it does little for the seamers?” said Hussain.

Anderson will work on his fitness with Lancashire and the ECB

Anderson will work on his fitness with Lancashire and the ECB

“I know he wants to, he’d love to be there having missed so much cricket but I think it’s best if he gets ready for the summer and that first Test.”

England have recalled Keaton Jennings for the tour with the Lancashire batsman averaging 44.44 from five Tests in Asia, having hit both of his centuries there – on debut against in Mumbai in 2016 and against Sri Lanka in Galle in 2018.

But the opener averages just 17.72 from 10 games on home soil and Hussain thinks England will be left in a quandary if he performs well on his comeback and says he would have looked past Jennings and retained Jonny Bairstow in the squad instead.

http://www.skysports.com/ http://www.skysports.com/ 1:24 Take a look back at Keaton Jennings’ century in Galle, on England’s previous Test tour to Sri Lanka in late 2018

Take a look back at Keaton Jennings’ century in Galle, on England’s previous Test tour to Sri Lanka in late 2018

“The present selection panel have been very much horses for courses and this is the original horse for a spin-friendly course,” added Hussain.

“The problem is that if he does well does he start next summer or will he only play on spin-friendly pitches? It’s an odd one and a real turnaround from the way sides uses to be selected.

“He is a high-quality player of spin and a good catcher around the bat. He is exceptional at short leg against the spinners which you have to take into the equation.

http://www.skysports.com/ http://www.skysports.com/ 0:28 Jennings was superb in the short-leg position on England’s previous tour of Sri Lanka, either catching the ball or parrying it to others!

Jennings was superb in the short-leg position on England’s previous tour of Sri Lanka, either catching the ball or parrying it to others!

“I understand why he has been recalled but it’s a bit short term for me. I’d think long term and get players ready for all conditions.

“Michael Vaughan, Marcus Trescothick and Graham Thorpe learnt on spin-friendly pitches in Pakistan and Sri Lanka and became better players because of it.

“I would have gone for Bairstow as back-up batsman as I see him as the more complete player, even though his Test record has not been great of late.”

http://www.skysports.com/ http://www.skysports.com/ 0:42 Hussain says he understands Moeen Ali’s break from Test cricket, saying the format is ‘no place for tired minds’.

Hussain says he understands Moeen Ali’s break from Test cricket, saying the format is ‘no place for tired minds’.

On off-spinning all-rounder Moeen Ali, who remains on a self-imposed break from Test cricket, Hussain added: “Test cricket is no place for tired minds and for people who, at the moment, don’t want to be there.

“But Moeen is a very good cricketer and come the summer in English conditions I would definitely have him in the frame – if he feels he is right to come back into Test cricket.”

Watch every ball of England’s Test series in Sri Lanka in March live on Sky Sports.

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