England must justify decision to leave out ‘best’ bowler Anderson
Victory needed for Three Lions to validate Andy Flower's decision on third Test side
Widely regarded as one of the world’s finest swing bowlers, James Anderson’s omission from 5/2 England’s side for their upcoming clash with West Indies has raised eyebrows.
Anderson is to be rested for the third Test, with England already leading the series 2-0, despite being fully fit and ready and willing to compete for his country.
The decision to leave Anderson out of proceedings has drawn much scrutiny onto the England selectors, but coach Andy Flower has defended the choice, and explained similar instances may occur in future.
“The days of us playing our players until they either wear down significantly, snap physically or mentally, are over,” he told the Mirror.
“In the past we tended to play the fast bowlers until they were either bowling so poorly that we had to leave them out, or they break down.
“That doesn’t make sense to us. We think it our responsibility to manage things better than that, and our duty is to make decisions in their interests and the interests of the team.”
Patriotic punters should be pleased meanwhile, that Flower’s actions have led to England’s price being pushed out, with the home side as short as 11/10 only yesterday.
A draw between the sides has now become most favourable in the betting at 2/5, but with Graham Onions replacing Anderson in the ranks, the Three Lions still look good to complete a whitewash series victory.
Onions has been in sensational county form for Durham this term, collecting 34 wickets at a superb average of 12.61.
He hasn’t turned out for England in two-and-a-half-years amidst consistent injury troubles, but now fully fit again, he will be eager to impress on his return to the national side.
Also near full-strength throughout the rest of the lineup, England are worth backing at 5/2 to win a seventh Edgbaston Test in their last 11 outings at the ground.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.