England paceman James Anderson might not be in his best form recently, but his captain has full confidence in the 38-year old's abilities. The country's all-time highest wicket-taker has been included in the English line-up for their second test match against Pakistan.
The game has started at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton on Thursday and Anderson has already claimed Shan Masood's valuable wicket. Masood, who scored a fighting 156 during the first innings of the first Test, could score only one run on Thursday.
Last week, Anderson had a nightmare on the field as he could dismiss only one batsman across two innings. He ended the match with 1-97. Following that, there were speculations regarding Anderson's retirement. However, the veteran bowler denied any such claims.
Now, the English Test skipper, Joe Root has come forward with support for his side's most experienced bowler.
Root said, "It would be very silly for us to write someone like Jimmy off. He is still as dedicated as ever, is working very hard on his game, and is looking very good in practice. To get that off his chest and to talk about it has helped him. With Jimmy, we know it won't be long until he is back at the peak of his powers. I am very much looking forward to seeing him perform this week."
According to BBC, the 29-year old also said that he and Anderson had "honest conversations" about the paceman's frustrations at the Emirates Old Trafford.
So far this summer, Anderson has claimed six wickets in three tests. He is nine shy from the 600-wicket mark. If he could achieve the feat, the 38-year old will eventually become the only fast bowler in the history of the sport to claim 600 test wickets. He would also become the fourth overall bowler to have that many wickets to his name.
Former Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralitharan is leading the list with 800 wickets. Ex-Australian international Shane Warne has 708 wickets to his name. Third on the list is the former Indian leg-spinner Anil Kumble, who has claimed 619 wickets during his Test career.
A couple of weeks ago, Stuart Broad became only the second-ever Englishman to claim 500 wickets. If Anderson successfully resurrects his vintage form, the ongoing season could add another feather to the cricket crown of England.