CB Series, 2006-07 January 25, 2007

Anderson cool over back stiffness

Cricinfo staff
  shares



James Anderson has been a rare positive in England's one-day horror show © Getty Images
With England down to the bare bones of their side, they can ill-afford to lose any more of their key players, especially the ones who have actually shown some form. It is therefore understandable the management are keeping a close eye on James Anderson, who has reported some back stiffness in recent days.

Anderson went for an MRI scan before England's 90-run defeat against New Zealand at Adelaide - where his figures were a respectable 2 for 47 - and the check-up gave him the all clear.

However, it is less than a year ago that he returned from the tour of India with back pain and was promptly ruled out for most of last season with a stress fracture. He was forced to spend six weeks in a back brace.

Anderson has been quick to play down concerns over his fitness, saying it comes with the territory as a fast bowler. "I've had a bit of stiffness but you are always going to get that stiffness coming back from an injury."

"You always get a stiff back as a bowler. I've no worries at all about my fitness. There is a difference between having a stiff back and the sort of pain I was getting when I had the stress fracture.

Although it is his one-day form which is providing a timely boost to Anderson, and also produced his finest hour during the 2003 World Cup in South Africa, he is determined not to be pigeon-holed.

"I would be quite happy if I had the World Cup I had last time as a bowler, but I'd like us to get a bit further in the competition. That's what matters. The white ball swings a lot more for me, so I enjoy that, but don't call me a white ball specialist."

England's next CB Series outing is against Australia, at Adelaide, on Friday.