Reuters: England face a tricky selection dilemma ahead of Thursday’s third and final test against Sri Lanka at the Rose Bowl.
Paceman James Anderson has recovered from a side strain and will come back to lead the attack after missing the second-test draw at Lord’s, meaning Steven Finn, Stuart Broad or Chris Tremlett must stand down.
“I’ve felt fine for a couple of weeks now. I felt fine before the Lord’s test,” Anderson told reporters.
“It would have been a risk to play in that game and I’ve had plenty of time to recover, get stronger, do a lot of bowling, so I’m feeling pretty comfortable.”
The likelihood is that the 22-year-old Finn will make way as he was the fast bowler who originally came in for Anderson.
Broad has taken just 13 wickets in six tests but his all-rounder status should help his cause.
Surrey quickie Tremlett is hoping to return to the venue where he used to play with Hampshire.
England, who are 1-0 up against Sri Lanka, are looking to claim a fifth straight series win.
Captain Andrew Strauss’s team last failed to win a test series when they drew 1-1 in South Africa in 2009-10.
England have since beaten Bangladesh twice, Pakistan and Australia. Their last test series defeat was a 1-0 reverse in West Indies in early 2009.
Sri Lanka have been forced to change their captain as Tillakaratne Dilshan will not risk his broken thumb. He will be replaced by predecessor Kumar Sangakkara.
“The main reason we’ve kept him out of this test is that had he played and got another blow while fielding he might have been out for the rest of the tour,” said team manager Anura Tennakoon referring to the one-day internationals that follow.
“As a precautionary measure we have kept him out.”
Left-handed opener Lahiru Thirimanne, 21, is likely to replace Dilshan at the top of the order after scoring 104 against Essex.
It will be the Rose Bowl’s maiden test although the south-coast ground has previously hosted 12 one-day and two Twenty20 internationals.