Anderson wants to drive England in India
James Anderson is determined not to take a back seat to England’s spinners during the Test series in India.
Anderson, the leader of the tourists’ seam attack, does not want to fall into the trap of thinking Graeme Swann, Samit Patel and Monty Panesar will be England’s main wicket-taking threat in the four-Test rubber.
The Lancastrian recalled his success in Sri Lanka during March and April when he claimed nine wickets over the two Tests, including 5-72 in the hosts’ first innings at Galle.
The 30-year-old began the tour solidly today with 1-65 from 17 overs while fellow seamer Tim Bresnan returned 3-59 from 20 and Swann 3-90 from 23 as India A reached 369 for nine at Mumbai’s Brabourne Stadium.
“I think the biggest thing is not to go over there expecting the spinners to do all the work,” Anderson told ecb.co.uk before England departed last week, initially for three days at the International Cricket Council Global Cricket Academy in Dubai.
“I think seam bowlers can go over to India and the sub-continent with a preconception that they’re not going to be successful on those sort of wickets.
“But I think what we did in Sri Lanka earlier in the year, we made a real conscious effort as seam bowlers to try and be positive and just try and find ways of taking wickets out there. And we know that we can do just as much damage as spinners can.”
England’s current three-day game is the first of three warm-up matches ahead of the first Test at Ahmedabad, which starts on November 15.
Having been on the successful Ashes trip to Australia two years ago, Anderson believes the next two and a half weeks will stand the tourists in good stead for the Tests.
“It worked really well for us before the Australia tour,” he said. “We had about four or five weeks before the first Test there and obviously we went on to win that.
“So hopefully, the same sort of thinking behind it, trying to give us as much time as possible to get used to those conditions out there because they're so different to what we get here in England and hopefully we can make best use of it.”
Despite his positive outlook, Anderson is aware of the task facing England - who have not won a Test series in India since 1984-85.
He explained previous failures as “a mixture of us being alien to the conditions and also India are so strong in their own conditions” before adding: “They’re so used to playing on their pitches; they seem to have a formula that really works for them over there.”