James Anderson passed fit for third Test with New Zealand in Auckland
Last Updated: March 20, 2013 8:24pm
James Anderson: Passed fit for Auckland
James Anderson has declared himself fit for England's crunch third and final Test with New Zealand in Auckland.
There had been concerns about Anderson's heel and back after he bowled the majority of his 37 overs in the drawn second Test in Wellington into a fierce wind.
But England's senior fast bowler is ready for one last push for the match - which begins on Thursday evening UK time - as the tourists bid for a clean sweep of series victories in all formats.
"I feel okay," he said. "The rain probably helped in the end, getting an extra day off. It gave my body an extra bit of rest. So I hope, come Friday, my body will be ready to go five days again."
"When you've got just one 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.
"If we did manage to come away with a win, it'd be a fantastic winter for English cricket throughout all forms of the game."
With Anderson passed fit England are expected to name an unchanged team, with the only player vulnerable being Monty Panesar who took just one wicket in Wellington.
England could go with off-spinner James Tredwell - whose only Test to date came in Bangladesh three years ago - or an all-pace attack, which would probably mean a debut for Warwickshire's Chris Woakes.
But the indications are that Panesar will keep him place for the match, which will be played on a drop-in pitch.
"It's obviously a decider," Anderson said. "We want to win the series, and will be looking at it as a very important game.
"There's a lot of pressure around the game, and we'll have to play very well to compete with New Zealand."
Anderson, five wickets away from becoming only the fourth Englishman to take 300 in Tests, has taken only seven in this series so far but New Zealand batsman Dean Brownlie does not think he has been below his best.
"He got me out in both games, so I wouldn't say that," he said. "He's the sort of the bowler who has a few tricks up his sleeve - so even if he isn't 100 per cent, he'll still have the ball swinging and seaming.
"Most of their bowlers have played a lot of Test cricket and gone through patches where things haven't gone their way.
"I'm sure it's just another hurdle for them. They might be a bit down or whatever, but we know they will come back strong. We saw that in the T20s and ODIs, in games three when they really stood up."