I’m a bit torn on this one. On Sunday I had made my mind up that Jimmy Anderson has to be the man to make way if Stuart Broad is fit to face Ireland. But now, after a couple of days reflection I’m not so sure.
On present form I don’t think it can be disputed that Anderson isn’t worth his place in the side. That’s not meant in a ‘get rid of him, as he’s crap’ way. It’s meant that he is in a bad run of form and that is probably becasue he is mentally and physically exhausted.
He bowled himself into the ground during the Ashes, he also was backwards and forwards to England after his wife gave birth, all this must now be taking its toll on him.
Do England give him one more chance against Ireland? No disrespect meant to the Irish, but England will face tougher opposition during this tournament and a run out against an Associate side could be what Anderson needs to get himself back on track. Assuming that it’s just his radar and confidence that needs adjusting.
If it’s a bigger problem than that, then maybe it’s time to take him out of the firing line and try to get him ready for the latter stages of the competition.
At the moment he is clearly struggling, whether that is through tiredness, lack of confidence or a bit of both, or maybe even something more sinister, only Jimmy and the England management know.
One thing that is for sure, is that England’s bowling and fielding needs livening up in a big way. Anderson is one of the main culprits in both of these departments recent struggles, so maybe a rest so England can freshen things up a bit would do Jimmy and the team some good.
Another thing that might point to him being left out, is that now we are almost certain to qualify, it is more important that we have him firing on all cylinders come the business end of the tournament.
It will be interesting to see how England handle this problem.