Glen Chapple knows he has a tough selection call to make when Lancashire welcome back James Anderson for the next two County Championship matches.
Anderson faces second-placed Somerset at Old Trafford from Friday and then leaders Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge a week later as he prepares for England’s summer of Test Matches against Pakistan and India.
Lancashire started the season with back-to-back Championship defeats against Notts and Essex before dominating a home draw against Surrey last time out.
And their seam bowling has been the most impressive aspect of their play so far, Preston’s Tom Bailey taking 16 wickets in three games, Australian overseas quick Joe Mennie 12 and fellow new recruit Graham Onions 11.
All-rounders Jordan Clark and Steven Croft have made strong cases to remain in the side while leg-spinner Matt Parkinson could also return against Somerset having missed out against Surrey.
“We will have a difficult decision to make,” said head coach Chapple.
“We are obviously very happy with the seam attack we’ve got but Jimmy coming back will only strengthen it.
“I think after the performance against Surrey we’ve got to look at what we’ve done well but we all know that Jimmy is going to fight for Lancashire and bring some class to the team as well.
“We’ve got competition already, but all teams that want to do well for the whole season will have competition.
“I think everyone knows what Jimmy brings – skill, character, quality and commitment.
“He’s done it every year for us for as long as I can remember.
“Two games from Jimmy means a lot, and I can’t remember a season where he hasn’t had a major influence on us winning a game - if not, more than that.
“I’m sure he’ll be up for doing that again.”