To succeed in daunting conditions like Australia, the pressure is often on the batsmen to make their hard work and starts count, and ensure that they go on to score big. James Anderson has urged England batsmen to do the same. Across eras and generations, all the big names like the Tendulkars, Lara’s, Kallis, have all made it big in Australia.
The story of England in this Ashes, however, is far from the scenario mentioned above. Their batsmen have done all the hard work and stood steady initially, but have often been guilty of throwing away their starts. Skipper Joe Root, for instance, has among the poorest conversion rates in the modern crop of batsmen.
This has hurt England’s cause as the side has not been able to pile up the big scores when needed. Bowling ace James Anderson highlighted this post the Boxing Day Test and said that it was important for the batsmen to stand up and score big in Australia.
“We’ve got to score more runs,” Anderson said. “We need big hundreds. We’ve seen in all the Test matches, the team that has won or got on top has been the one with people scoring big scores, big hundreds. In this game in Melbourne it was us because of Alastair Cook, but it’s one area we need to improve.”
Speaking about his bowling, Anderson mentioned that he was disappointed with his speed dropping off in the latter overs.
“I know my speed dropped off into my 58th and 59th overs,” Anderson said. “I was bowling the ball, looking up at the board to see what speed it was and then looking at Steve Smith hitting it. I tried a fair bit. The pitch was so unresponsive. It’s quite demoralising when it gets to that point. “There was a guy shouting at me: ‘You can’t bowl with a Kookaburra.’ I said ‘You might have a point there.”
England’s leading wicket-taker concluded by mentioning that the side was eager to win a game during their ongoing tour.
“I’d feel disappointed for this group if we didn’t get a win on this trip because we’ve worked so hard. We have played well at times in all four Tests. It would be nice if we can carry that on and have one last push at Sydney and try to get a win.”