"If I was picking England’s best XI to face Australia, he would still be in it. Yes, Anderson’s wickets cost 32 runs apiece there, considerably more expensive than his career mark of 26 - but four months ago he was the No 1-ranked bowler in the world and although it might be the oldest cliche, class is permanent,” Hussain wrote in his column.
With Anderson nearing the twilight of his illustrious career, speculation about his retirement has become inevitable. However, Hussain asserts that the decision to retire should rest solely with the individual player.
"Only the individual knows when the time is right to retire, whether they are physically and mentally done. There are only so many times you can go to the well, only so many times you get out of bed, strap those bowling boots on and go again. That point will come for Anderson, but I don’t see in his body language that he’s running on empty," Hussain stressed in his column.
Acknowledging that Anderson's performances have been below his own high standards, Hussain offers a crucial perspective on great cricketers. The former captain stresses the need for understanding and support, stating that legendary players deserve an extra cushion during moments when they may not be at their absolute best.
“He’s just performing a bit below par. When a great is a bit below par, it would be very unfair - wrong, in fact - to leave him out. Great cricketers just deserve that little bit more, in keeping with their mighty efforts,” Hussain added.
As the Ashes series reaches its final Test at The Oval, England will be eager to salvage a draw against Australia. The pressure will be on the team to deliver their best performance, and Anderson's inclusion in the final Test might be a matter of intense debate among fans and analysts again.">