Anderson satisfied with England start
James Anderson was pleased with the way England got back to business on day one of the first npower Test against Sri Lanka.
After the highs of the Ashes and the rigours of the World Cup, England’s homecoming at Cardiff was delayed by rain until 3.30pm.
Having lost the toss and been asked to bowl first against a talented touring batting order, England stuck to their task diligently as Sri Lanka reached stumps on 133 for two from 48 overs.
Captain Tillakaratne Dilshan and Tharanga Paranavitana both impressed in reaching 50 and 58 not out respectively, but England’s bowlers beat the bat on several occasions to keep them interested.
Reflecting on the hosts’ efforts in circumstances that could not have been more different to their last Test in Sydney, Anderson said: “We’ve got to move on from the winter. We had a great winter and we enjoyed it but it’s the start of a new summer, the start of a new series and we’ve got to try and put that to one side and concentrate on the challenge ahead.
“I thought we started pretty well considering we spent most of the day in the dressing room. It sometimes can be quite hard to get yourself up for that kind of start time.
“But I thought we did brilliantly in the first hour. We could have got a few wickets - we beat the bat a couple of times but they played pretty well too and left well. I thought we got some deserved wickets in the evening.”
England’s day would have been significantly worse had Anderson not removed Kumar Sangakkara for 11 in the evening session, a decision that initially needed a referral and even then appeared controversial until technology suggested a thin edge.
England were confident they had their man when they went upstairs but on a handful of other occasions opted not to use the UDRS.
They have been criticised in the past for using their allocated referrals wastefully in the past and Anderson acknowledges it is something they have been attempting to improve.
“We’ve tried to shut Swanny up so he doesn’t waste them,” he joked. “But because it’s quite a new thing it was always going to take a bit of time getting used to them. I thought we used them pretty well today and hopefully we can continue to do that.
“The slips were convinced (about Sangakkara’s dismissal). With the strong breeze across, the guys in front of the wicket didn’t hear anything but the slips were convinced so we had no hesitation in asking.”
The Lancashire seamer was also pleased with the pitch, adding: “There’s more life than we thought here. We were delighted that there is some movement there and a little bit of bounce for the taller guys.
“If you bend your back you can get something out of the pitch so it’s a good cricket wicket. It’s going to be a hard contest tomorrow and further on in the game.”