Lancashire head coach Glen Chapple has insisted that James Anderson remains "the best bowler in the country, end of".
Anderson was unceremoniously axed by England for their tour of the West Indies along with long-time bowling partner Stuart Broad. Interim managing director Sir Andrew Strauss said the pair were axed so England could "look at some exciting new bowling potential and give some added responsibility to other players who have featured previously."
However, England went on to lose 1-0 to the West Indies after suffering a crushing ten-wicket defeat in the final Test in Grenada. Strauss did stress the decision did not "mean the end" for Anderson and Broad's international careers and the pair will very much be in contention for selection this summer.
Both are gearing up to play for their sides in the County Championship ahead of England's first Test against New Zealand in June. And Chapple believes Anderson remains the "best bowler in the country".
"In my mind, Jimmy is still as strong as ever," Chapple said. "All we have seen from Jimmy from the last 15 years is a great professional looking to be as good as he can be every day.
"I am sure he is [still hurting]. I don't understand it. He is still the best bowler in the country, end of. It's different than in previous years when you knew he was going to be selected in the England team. He will want to put a marker down, certainly."
Anderson, meanwhile, has admitted he still remains mystified over the decision, saying: "I've stopped trying to make sense of it and just put it to one side. It was completely out of my control.
"I've got to focus on what I can control and that is bowling as well as I possibly can. Firstly that is here these next two months, try and take as many wickets as I possibly can and see what happens from there.
"Something like this, for me, it's quite a big deal because it came out of the blue a little bit. I still feel like I'm bowling well. I was in the top 10 of the world rankings so I feel like I’m doing a good job for the team.
"I feel like I've got a lot to offer, not just on the field but off it. I've really enjoyed working with the other bowlers that are coming through."
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