Cook: Selectors vetoed Anderson return


England captain Alastair Cook has confirmed that fast bowler James Anderson is 99 percent fit, but that the selectors and medical staff opted to err on the side of caution and keep him out of the Lord's Test.

Anderson was reportedly bowling well in the nets before the first Test against Pakistan, prompting speculation that he'd be added to the squad, but Jake Ball was handed his debut instead.

Anderson is thus expected to play in the second Test, which will please pace partner Stuart Broad, who expressed surprise on Wednesday that Anderson was not going to play as he seemed fine to him.

Cook said before the game: "He (Anderson) was fairly confident. Of course there is always a temptation to take that gamble with a bowler who has taken 450 Test wickets.

"He's not quite at full pace and there is a risk of going into a five-day Test match with that injury – an injury that not many people have had – so the selectors have decided it's too much of a risk to go for it.

"They're concerned that if he has one of those stints at Lord's, the sun's out and it's a flat wicket, he could be bowling 30-odd overs in an innings and we're not quite sure how his shoulder will stand up to that.

"The medical people are asked their opinion and I imagine they will err on the safety side. If they make the other call and it blows up, there are repercussions.

"When you are responsible for making decisions on players' welfare, it must be really tough. You do not want to be responsible for it.

"There are other games. He should be fit for Old Trafford. He does understand the situation."