Сricket

James Anderson responds to retirement rumours and reacts to Ben Stokes' absence

James Anderson admits he ‘felt out of rhythm’ and ’emotional’ with his performance during England’s victory over Pakistan in the first Test at Emirates Old Trafford but has rubbished rumours that he could be about to announce his retirement.

The 38-year-old seamer has only taken six wickets in his last three Tests and there has been growing speculation that he could be rested in Southampton for the next of England’s three-match series.

England have added Sussex’s Ollie Robinson to an already strong plethora of fast bowlers but Anderson is not ready to give up his place anytime soon despite a frustrating display in Manchester.

Asked whether there’s any truth to rumours he’s considering his England future, Anderson replied: ‘No, there’s not. Absolutely not.

‘It’s been a frustrating week for me personally just because I’ve not bowled very well, I’ve felt out of rhythm.

‘And probably for the first time in around ten years, I got a little bit emotional on the field, started getting frustrated and let that get to me a little bit.

‘It reminded me of when I first started playing when you get frustrated and a little bit angry and you try and start bowling quicker and quicker and that obviously doesn’t help on the field.

‘Once we get down to Southampton, it’s a case of working really hard over the next couple of days, work out if there’s any technical issues I can sort out and just try and work hard and hope I get the nod for the next game to show people I’ve still got what it takes to play Test cricket.’

He added: ‘I don’t think it’s the toughest period of my career.

‘I’ve had quite a few tough periods as you would expect over a decent length career. I just think it’s a different way of thinking maybe.

‘It was one bad game and I’m sure I’ll have another bad game in my career.

‘I just don’t want there to be whispers around that I’m going to pack it in every time I have a bad game.

‘It’s just about trying to find a way of dealing with that, find a way of dealing with the outside noise which I’ve done really well in my career.’

England will be without Ben Stokes for the final two Tests against Pakistan due to family reasons but Anderson is confident the squad is strong enough to cope with their talisman’s absence.

‘It is a big blow for us because he’s a big part of our team, both on and off the field,’ Anderson said.

‘But obviously family comes first and we’ll all rally around him and try support him as best we can in this tough time for him.

‘We’ve got two games left to play and we’re confident with the guys we’ve got here, we’ve got a lot of quality in this group.

‘So whoever comes in to replace him I’m sure will do a fantastic job.’

The second match between England and Pakistan is due to get underway at the Southampton’s Rose Bowl on Thursday.

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