Anderson aims to revive England
James Anderson hopes his return to the England team can help turn around their poor one-day form which has left them in a must-win situation heading into the fourth ODI at Adelaide. Anderson arrived back in Australia at the weekend following a post-Ashes break back home that left the visitors with a second-string attack.
Along with Anderson's absence for the first three matches, Stuart Broad is also out injured while Graeme Swann hasn't played the last two games due to a knee problem and has also suffered a back spasm. Tim Bresnan has now been forced out of the series with a calf strain so Anderson's return will be a timely boost for the squad. However, he still has to show he's over the effects of another long journey before taking his place.
"To be honest we'll just see how the next couple of days go," he said. "I'll practice tomorrow [Tuesday] and if I come through practice I'll certainly be putting my name forward for selection.
"I'd like to think I bring some energy with both my bowling and fielding. I don't think we are that far away having seen the first three games. We aren't far away from a win and turning the momentum around."
Energy has been a buzzword for England in this series. It's one of the reasons Matt Prior was recalled to the World Cup squad because of the part he plays in the fielding unit and it was noticeable on Sunday, at the SCG, how Paul Collingwood, who replaced the injured Kevin Pietersen, tried to get under Australia's skin.
The end result, though, hasn't proved very effective although the depleted bowling attack has done a reasonable job only to be let down by some poor batting in the last two matches. But despite the scoreline, and the prospect of conceding the series very early, Anderson insists the squad are as buoyant as when he departed in the afterglow of the Ashes.
"I know we are 3-0 down but the dressing room seems just as positive as when I left," he said. "They are still in good spirits. We know we are just one game away from turning the momentum around. We are looking to Wednesday to be a good all-round performance with both bat and ball."
Anderson has twice benefited from England's rotation policy, firstly last winter when he missed the tour of Bangladesh and now this latest break. He was the stand-out bowler during the Ashes, sending down 213 overs in the five Tests for 24 wickets, so was grateful of the down time and believes the current injury problems show how important it is to factor in these periods of rest.
"It was nice to get a break. My body certainly needed it after the Test series," he said. "As you've seen we've got a couple of injuries at the minute. It's crucial that we go into the World Cup with a full-strength squad. The management have made good decisions in the past resting players so I'm sure they are going to do exactly the same leading up to the World Cup."
England will again have to consider the balance of their side at Adelaide because, for two matches running, they have not had the ideal attack for conditions. In Hobart they were a quick bowler short then they strengthened that department on a slow pitch at the SCG where James Tredwell could have been useful.
Spin is likely to play a role in this match, but Anderson has fond memories of what a swing bowler can do following his Test performance. His first-morning burst when he removed Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke to leave Australia 3 for 2 set England on their way to victory. They are desperate for something similar again from their leading bowler.
Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo