Anderson set to discover fate

James Anderson, right, will undergo his hearing on the Level 3 charge

James Anderson, right, will undergo his hearing on the Level 3 charge

First published in National Sport News © by

England have an extensive contingency plan should James Anderson be unavailable for his home Test as they try to consolidate against India after their first victory in almost a year.

Anderson must account for himself on Friday morning, via video-conference, as International Cricket Council judicial commissioner Gordon Lewis conducts his disciplinary hearing into the Level 3 charge against him.

Legal counsel will be deployed by the England and Wales Cricket Board, along with eye witnesses to events in the Trent Bridge pavilion stairwell - where Anderson stands accused of "abusing and pushing" Ravindra Jadeja during last month's first Investec Test.

Anderson may not discover his fate - up to a four-Test ban if found guilty - until the weekend, taking into account the time difference logistics facing Melbourne-based Lewis.

England, meanwhile, have ensured bases are covered for Old Trafford next week - having announced, within hours of levelling the series at 1-1 on the back of Anderson's man-of-the-match performance, that they will retain the 13-man squad chosen for the third match of five at the Ageas Bowl.

Alastair Cook will therefore have another five frontline pace options, even if Lancastrian Anderson is missing in Manchester.

The captain was at pains to point that out as he reflected on England's first win - by 266 runs - in 11 matches, after Anderson and Moeen Ali had bowled India out for 178.

It was an exemplary collective performance, to win with more than two sessions to spare, by a team who have been so conspicuously ineffective for so long.

"You can call on six seamers," said Cook, who hinted Chris Woakes will be a major contender to keep his place despite leaving the south coast wicketless in only his second Test.

"For Chris Woakes not to get a wicket, after bowling like he did and at the paces he did with that control...

"We left people like Ben Stokes and Liam Plunkett out, who have done really well as well.

"So that's a 13-man squad, which is fantastic."

England can also expect Moeen's off-spin to be a factor again, after his maiden five-wicket haul.

Cook added: "Mo's level of improvement as a bowler (is something) I haven't seen (before) in such a short space of time.

"To adjust from bowling in county cricket, to be able to do a holding role in international cricket...he's learned really well.

"Then, when he did get on a wicket which did spin a little bit, he proved he's an attacking option as well."

Moeen is one of a clutch of emerging players to have just won their first Test, as Cook and returning coach Peter Moores try to mould a 'new era' after England's embarrassing Ashes whitewash last winter.

Cook believes they will derive great benefit from discovering what it takes to come out on top over five days.

"I think it's very important," he said.

"They now know what it's like, and what you have to do, and how hard it is.

"I hope as a side that's the blueprint of the cricket we can play."

Anderson could be forgiven for having one or two other things on his mind already but, like Cook, is enthused by England's renewed potential

"It's really exciting for us to have set a benchmark as a team," he said.

"As a bowling attack, that's how good we can be - our job now is to maintain that throughout the rest of the series."

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