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James Anderson told the BBC at the start of this week that he wants to use Lancashire’s early-season County Championship fixtures to prove to the England selectors that he is still worth his place in the side for this summer’s Tests against Sri Lanka and India.
Well, after just one day’s bowling against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge, the 31-year-old has already done enough to have his name inked firmly in for the opening Test of the season against Sri Lanka at Lord’s on 12 June by returning eye-catching figures of five for 54 on Sunday to help dismiss the home team for 272.
Anderson’s victims included batsmen of the calibre of Phil Jaques, Michael Lumb, Riki Wessels—who saw his stumps dramatically rearranged—and Alex Hales as the seamer not only picked up his third consecutive five-wicket haul on his favourite ground in the world, following last year’s 10-wicket man-of-the-match haul against Australia, but also his seventh in just eight matches in Nottingham.
And with two more scalps to his name in Notts’ second innings, including the key wicket for 90 of Wessels, again clean bowled, Anderson made the perfect start to the campaign in what was his first bowl since the fifth Test in Sydney at the turn of the year.