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Tuesday Nov 29 2022
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Bowlers needs to think out of box if wicket is unresponsive, says James Anderson

Englands James Anderson speaks with the media after a training session ahead of their first cricket Test match against Pakistan, at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium in Rawalpindi on November 29, 2022. — AFP
England's James Anderson speaks with the media after a training session ahead of their first cricket Test match against Pakistan, at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium in Rawalpindi on November 29, 2022. — AFP 

RAWALPINDI: England’s veteran fast bowler James Andersen believes it is important to think out of the box for wickets when bowlers find unresponsive wickets.

Talking to media in Rawalpindi ahead of England’s first Test against Pakistan, also the country’s first on Pakistani soil in 17 years, the 40-year-old cricketer said that he is delighted to be back in Pakistan.

James Andersen is the only member of England’s playing squad who toured Pakistan 17 years ago. The fast bowler said the England camp has tried to learn about how conditions would be here by watching Pakistan’s Test matches against South Africa and Australia.

“We've been talking quite a lot about what the wicket might be, we've looked at the Australia game early this year, we've looked at the South Africa game from last year. So, trying to just get ideas of what to expect when we got there on Thursday. And, as we always do, as a bowling group, we try and talk quite a lot and I can just about remember that tour last time, so I'm trying to wrack my brains for how those wickets played but I think we've got to try and have a fairly fresh open mind on Thursday and try to adapt well to the conditions,” he said.

“The guys understand how bigger at all this is in terms of world cricket, not just the two teams that are here. So yeah, we're delighted to be here and excited to get going on Thursday,” he added.

When asked if it would be difficult to find some help on unresponsive wickets, the experienced England cricketer said that to try to find something in unresponsive pitches is a skill of a test cricketer.

“You've got to try and find ways of taking wickets,” he said.

“I think the introduction of Ben as captain and Brendon as coach has also helped in terms of thinking outside the box in terms of field settings and plans that you use on the field. And, I think we might have to think outside the box a little bit over the next few weeks,” Anderson said.

Replying to a question, the pacer said that the England team is aware of the challenge Pakistan could pose them during the series. He added that as a bowling unit, they are not focusing on one or two players as they believe that Pakistan has a strong batting lineup.

“We know how stronger their batting lineup is from one to eight. So, we've got to make sure we've got plans for all of them. We're well aware how important Babar is for Pakistan being the captain as well as I'd say their best player. So, we will give him attention but also, we need to focus on the other guys as well, because they're very strong,” he said.

When asked if he has set his eyes on any milestone before hanging his boots, the fast bowler said that he has never set any target and would enjoy his cricket as long as his body would allow him to do so.

“As long as my body will allow, I'll try and do it to the best of my ability and see where we get to in the future. I don't know could be six months, a year, two years. Who knows? I'll just keep trying to keep myself fit. Keep holding well, keep taking weeks for the team and see what happens,” he concluded.