Abu Dhabi: England will continue to play an aggressive brand of cricket and it is up to the players to sustain it, says veteran seamer James Anderson, as the white-ball World Champions are preparing for the tour of Pakistan in Abu Dhabi.
England, who are chasing the Test championship crown after being the current One-Day International and Twenty20 champions, have caught their rivals by surprise under new Test coach Brendon McCullum and captain Ben Stokes. The Bazball aggressive brand of cricket has given the desired results this summer, winning seven Tests at home.
With a fresh tour to Pakistan coming up, is it sustainable to continue this brand of cricket?
“Our job is to make it sustainable. We have the talent in the team to be able to do it. The more time we spend together and get used to playing this style of cricket, we learn when to be aggressive and when we soak up the pressure. That’s the skill of batting and bowling for individuals to figure out,” Anderson, who has 667 Test wickets to his tally, said.
“We have shown over seven Tests that we can deliver. If we can sustain it for that long, I don’t see why we can’t do it for a few years,” he added.
England will be touring Pakistan for the first time since 2005 and Anderson is the only member from that previous tour. It is an unknown area for England, but still the Three Lions are excited to carry the winning momentum in the three-Test series, beginning in Rawalpindi on December 1.
“We wanted to do better in the Test format as well. We had a few dodgy years and we are not where we want to be. In summer in England in the last seven games played, we started turning things around a bit. It’s about continuing that form, trying to keep improving as a team, playing the way the captain and the coach want us to play. An aggressive style of cricket and it’s entertaining to watch,” he siad.
Anderson, who had a good rest, had his share of injuries over the years and the England pacer feels that fast bowlers have to strike a right balance in spending time for gym work and nets.
“It’s all about finding the right balance. It’s difficult for bowlers to play all three formats with the amount of international cricket going on at the moment and the amount of franchise cricket to add to that,” felt Anderson. ”For me, it is to find the balance at what you do at the nets. I know that gym sessions have become more important and guys are spending more time at the gym than they are used to do before. It is still important to find your roles in the nets.”
Contest with Kohli
Anderson is known to target the best batters in the rival camp. The England seamer’s battle with talismanic Indian batter Virat Kohli is a well-known fact, with Anderson dismissing Kohli seven times so far. But does he enjoy those challenges?
“I don’t enjoy bowling to anyone. They are the best,” he said in jest, hiding the steely resolve behind that smile to go after the best in the business and went on to add the standard of batters has gone up over the years. “T20 has made it difficult for bowlers as the standard of batting has gone up. People play all formats of the game and have a good technique and big-hitting ability. I don’t think it has made it any easier.”
So what would you do if you play Twenty20 these days?
“Thankfully, I don’t play Twenty20 anymore,” he concluded.