Anderson awake to Perth task
New father James Anderson is confident he will be physically and mentally fresh, after two trips round the world in the last week, to lead England's attack in the third Ashes Test.
Anderson arrived in Perth yesterday afternoon after the return leg of his globe-trotting journey to witness the birth of his second child.
He was given permission by the England management to fly home while his team-mates were playing against Victoria in Melbourne, and his daughter Ruby was born last Friday.
Anderson was careful not to slip into a different sleep pattern during his few days back in the northern hemisphere, and believes he is feeling the benefit.
"I didn't try to acclimatise back to English conditions, just tried to stay on Australian time," he said.
"I didn't get into a sleep routine in England. I think I've done that well. I had a good night's sleep last night."
The fast bowler today had his first practice back with a team who can retain the Ashes with victory at the WACA, albeit a ground where previous English tourists have had precious little success.
"I've got two days of preparation now before the first Test," he said.
"I don't see why they're not going to go well, and I feel fresh, and probably happy for the rest from bowling after a tough first two Tests."
Anderson is grateful to his employers for allowing him to return home temporarily, and accepts the job he does means he inevitably has to compromise on time spent with his family - even during life-changing times.
"It was obviously nice to go back for a few days and be there for the birth," he said.
"In an ideal world, I probably would have stayed a bit longer.
"But the nature of my job is I've got to be here and try to perform at my best for England."
While Anderson is on his own, his team-mates' nearest and dearest have just arrived Down Under to celebrate Christmas with them.
"I quite enjoy seeing other people's kids, and it's quite nice having a family atmosphere around the team," he added.
"I'm getting daily updates from home through skype and photo messages.
"Many people, in whatever jobs, do have to deal with stuff like this.
"It's another thing I've got to cope with - and I'm sure I'll be fine. It's something we've got to deal with at some stage."
Anderson has already been swotting up on what may be England's best collective bowling tactics in Perth this week, on the long flight back to Australia.
"I feel like it's part of my job as a bowler - and I see myself as the leader of the attack here, so it's important I think about what went right for us in the last two games and what we can improve on for this game," he said.
"I did plenty of that, as did the guys who were still here. They've thought about things we can improve on - we've spoken about it already."
Anderson does not yet know for sure who will be joining him and the improving Steven Finn in the England attack, alongside off-spinner Graeme Swann.
But at a venue renowned for its extra bounce, 6ft 8in Chris Tremlett may have the edge over Yorkshire pair Tim Bresnan and Ajmal Shahzad.
"Tremlett has a massive advantage with his height, and might get some bounce out of the pitch," Anderson confirmed.
He does not discount the other two contenders, however.
"Bresnan is a very skilful bowler, who has made some valuable contributions with the bat in our one-day side," he added.
"Ajmal Shahzad bowled fantastically well in [the tour match against Australia A in] Hobart.
"All three guys could do a fantastic job. I'm not sure it's that big a decision - and luckily I'm not the one who has to make it."
"Whoever replaces Stuart ... we've got three guys raring to go. They're all quality bowlers, and I'm sure they'll fill Stuart's shoes as well as they can."
England have put themselves in a promising position, as they seek to win the Ashes in Australia for the first time since 1986-87, having won the second Test by an innings in Adelaide to go 1-0 up with three to play.
"My family and friends I saw [during his short stay at home] were complimentary about how we'd played so far and hopeful of going forward," said Anderson, who learned today that recalled Australia opener Phil Hughes cannot wait to take on England again.
"I'm not really too worried about what he thinks," he replied.
"The pitch will determine how we bowl at their guys. I don't mind what happens with them.
"We turn up on Thursday thinking about what we're going to do.
"We have plans for the guys they've brought in, but we'll concentrate on what we do."
England are wary, it seems, only of getting ahead of themselves - as some believe they did at Headingley Carnegie last year, when they were one victory from clinching the Ashes but instead lost inside three days.
They put it right by winning at the Brit Insurance Oval instead.
But Anderson warned: "We've worked really hard to get into this position and we don't want to let that slip now - so we've got to work really hard this week.
"We're trying not to think about retaining the Ashes - we're concentrating solely on this game."