Anderson ready to step up

England had one injury setback but avoided another on the eve of the deciding third cricket test against New Zealand which starts on Friday at Eden Park.

By (Agencies)

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Published: Fri 22 Mar 2013, 11:26 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 10:05 AM

Kevin Pietersen was ruled out of the match with a knee injury and will be sidelined for six weeks, missing the entire Indian Premier League in which he’d been expecting to take up a record $1.3 million contract.

Jonny Bairstow is likely to replace Pietersen in the batting lineup, joining 22-year-old Joe Root in a young middle order.

James Anderson eyes 300 Test wickets. — AP

Fast bowler James Anderson has declared himself fit for the match after recovering from heel and back injuries which hampered him during the drawn second test at Wellington. Both the first and second tests were rain-affected and ended in tame draws. The first day of the first test was lost to rain and most of the last two days of the second test were washed out, leaving the series to be decided on a drop-in pitch at Auckland. Anderson has played a relatively muted role in the series so far and admitted his body was feeling the strain of his recent bowling duties. But he said he was ready to lift for the last test in which No. 2-ranked England would press hard for a series victory over No. 8-ranked New Zealand. “I don’t think fresh is the word,” he said. “But when you’ve got just one big test left you always manage to find something a little bit extra in the tank, knowing we have got a few weeks off when we get home.

“I feel okay, and the rain probably helped in the end, getting an extra day off. It gave my body an extra bit of rest.”

Anderson needs only five more to reach 300 wickets in tests but said he would not let that milestone play too large a part in his approach to the match.

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