Fourth Investec Test: Alastair Cook backs Jimmy Anderson to impress on home turf at Emirates Old Trafford
Last Updated: 07/08/14 10:37am
England captain Alastair Cook hopes Jimmy Anderson will continue to be inspired by his recent off-field troubles in the fourth Investec Test against India at Emirates Old Trafford on Thursday.
The aftermath of Anderson's clash with Ravindra Jadeja at Trent Bridge last month continued until Wednesday, when the International Cricket Council confirmed they would not appeal against the decision not to punish him, bringing an end to the saga.
Unsurprisingly, Cook's press conference before the vital clash in Manchester was dominated by questions about the Lancashire seamer, and he fully expects Anderson to be on top form on his home ground.
Anderson was man-of-the-match in England's win at the Ageas Bowl last week and will be part of a probable four-man seam attack as they try to take a 2-1 lead into the series finale at the Kia Oval.
Cook said: "It's been a really good couple of days off the field for us, making sure that Jimmy's available to play and that the whole incident is behind us.
"We can concentrate on playing cricket and not having to talk about it any more, or hopefully not too much more.
"The way both sides have played this series has been fantastic apart from that one incident which has been blown up. Both sides have been very competitive and played it in the right way.
"He's a little bit less grumpy, which is nice for Jimmy. These last couple of Test matches with this hanging over him, he's bowled really well so I don't think it has really affected his performance on the field at all.
Discounted Oval Tickets!
Sky Tickets have terrific offers for the fifth and final Test at the Oval. Click here for details.
"It's great that it is now behind him. He gets to play in his home Test match, which I know is very special. Unfortunately (for me) we don't get to play Tests at Chelmsford so I don't get to experience that. For him to play here means a lot to him, and that was his biggest concern, that he wouldn't get to play at Old Trafford."
Cook also wants his side to continue playing aggressive cricket.
"We know every time you pull on the shirt as an England player, or any international side, you are role models for anyone watching, we're all aware of that," he said.
"But we also want to play competitive cricket, we don't want to be too nicey nicey, with everyone saying they're playing in the right spirit. There's always that muddied line."
England will again think about making changes to their seam attack, although Anderson is highly unlikely to miss out, with Steven Finn restored to the squad in place of the injured Liam Plunkett, who has an ankle problem.
The way both sides have played this series has been fantastic apart from that one incident which has been blown up. Both sides have been very competitive and played it in the right way.
Chris Woakes and Chris Jordan struggled to claim wickets in Southampton and Finn, who has been in great form for Middlesex, could get his first chance since leaving the Ashes series early when he was deemed to be so far out of form to be unselectable.
Cook added: "From where I last saw him in an England shirt, on that one-day tour, to delivering for Middlesex, bowling to us at Lord's and now here this last two days, it's great that Finny is getting back to his best.
"To add him into the pile of bowlers can only be a good thing. He's very different to what we've got. He's a tall bowler who, when he gets it right, can bowl at 90mph.
"I'm pleased for him that he's managed to fight through it and he'll be a stronger bloke for it. It will bode well for his cricket.
"The pitch is quite hard and he throws his name in for selection. It's a tough call to make."
Watch coverage of the fourth Investec Test between England and India at Emirates Old Trafford live on Sky Sports 2 HD from 10am on Thursday.