Jimmy Anderson faces a crunch week at the World Cup as he attempts to fight off the competition and establish himself as England's main spearhead in all forms of cricket.

Four years after exploding onto the international scene at both Test and one-day level as a highly promising 20-year-old, the Lancashire seamer is now in a position to stake his claim as the leader of England's attack.

Injuries and a failure to sustain the form which helped him explode on the 2003 World Cup in South Africa, when he claimed two man-of-the-match awards - including one for his stunning four for 29 against Pakistan - have prevented him becoming a regular member of England's line-up in either form of the game.

But England's disappointing winter Ashes campaign dented reputations and has left Anderson, among others, setting their sights on grabbing a place in a potentially new-look England attack for the opening Test against West Indies at Lord's on May 17.

Anderson is likely to be in pole position after missing the majority of last season with a stress fracture of his back, but competition is intensifying.

''I'm really pleased I'm fully fit and my back is feeling good, but I'm still not taking anything for granted,'' admitted Anderson, who has excelled with the new ball during the World Cup and claimed eight wickets so far.

''I'm just trying to do my best for the team, but I don't think my place is certain.

"Liam Plunkett is really knocking on the door after the way he bowled in Australia and is perhaps unlucky not to have played in the last couple of games, so I'm certainly not taking anything for granted.''

The Lancashire paceman is probably right not to be over-confident as the selectors have numerous options in the seam department.

Just within the World Cup squad Anderson, Sajid Mahmood, Liam Plunkett and Stuart Broad are all likely to be in the shake-up, while Jon Lewis was part of the set-up before flying home for personal reasons.

There is also further competition from others back home including Matthew Hoggard and Steve Harmison.

But Anderson's willingness to lead the attack during this tournament will not have gone unnoticed after England's bowling was found sadly wanting during the Ashes series.

''I enjoy taking the first over and trying to set the tone for the innings. I've not really thought about it yet, but eventually I want to cement my place in the Test side.

''But it's going to be a tough season for us all because I think with the competition from the lads we've got here, Simon Jones back fit again and Steve Harmison. it's not going to be easy getting into the side.''

Anderson played three times during the Ashes series whitewash before he succumbed to serious back problems during the one-day series and missed England's stunning victory in the Commonwealth Bank series.

But he has come back unscathed and admitted: ''I feel really good at the minute. From the very first game I've had some good rhythm.

''I didn't really want the long lay-off with my back, but maybe it's been a good thing in the long run, leading up to the World Cup.

''I'd have liked to have been in Australia when we won, but hopefully it will be worth it if I'm fit for the remainder of this tournament.''

His battle to claim a place for this summer's first Test, though, could be hindered by the broken finger to the right hand he suffered in the build-up to England's opening match of the tournament against New Zealand six weeks ago.

Anderson broke his little finger during practice in St Lucia and has kept going throughout the competition with regular pain-killing injections which have enabled him to get through matches. ''Originally when they first saw it they wanted to put a wire in it but that would have meant three weeks out and the end of my World Cup.

''After missing out with my back in Australia, I didn't want to miss out on the World Cup because of my finger,'' he added.

England are due to resume training today after two days off as they begin the build-up to their crunch match against South Africa on Tuesday, when victory will go a long way to securing their first semi-final berth since 1992.

Coach Tom Moody will not be joining Western Australia, according to exasperated Sri Lanka cricket chiefs.

The 41-year-old Australian has been linked with a number of posts, including the England coach's position as well as a return to his homeland.

But Duleep Mendis, the chief executive officer of Sri Lanka Cricket, again batted away any speculation. He said: ''We spoke to Tom on the matter soon after certain media reports stated that he is returning to Western Australia and he vehemently denied these reports."