LONDON: James Anderson is set for an England return after being named on Sunday in a 12-man squad for the third and final Test against Sri Lanka at the Rose Bowl starting on Thursday, June 16.
However, England's premier strike bowler – who missed the drawn second Test at Lord's with a side strain – must first prove his fitness playing for Lancashire in a Twenty20 match against Worcestershire later on Sunday.
Anderson replaces the uncapped Jade Dernbach, who was drafted into the squad in his absence.
“Jimmy Anderson is the leader of our bowling attack so clearly he will be a significant inclusion should he get through Lancashire's Friends Life Twenty20 match against Worcestershire unscathed,” said Geoff Miller, England's national selector, after announcing the squad on Sunday.
“Side strains can be particularly troublesome for bowlers but given Jimmy's injury was a grade one strain and therefore a low grade injury, he is expected to be fit for selection,” the former England off-spinner added.
“A period of rest and recovery has certainly been beneficial and we obviously wouldn't include Jimmy in the squad if the medical staff weren't confident of his fitness.”
England's four-man attack struggled for accuracy without Anderson at Lord's.
Either Steven Finn, who took the swing specialist's place in England's XI at Lord's, or the under-performing Stuart Broad would appear to be in line to make way if Anderson plays in what will be the first Test ever staged at the home ground of southern county Hampshire.
England lead this three-match series 1-0 after an innings and 14-run win in the first Test in Cardiff.
Andrew Strauss (capt), Alastair Cook, Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell, Eoin Morgan, Matt Prior (wkt), Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, Chris Tremlett, James Anderson, Steven Finn