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Tuesday February 27, 2024

We are here to win Test series, says Anderson

November 30, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Just a couple of days ahead of the start of Thursday’s Test against Pakistan, fast bowler James Anderson said that the tourists were here to win the Test series irrespective of the conditions and state of the pitches.

In a media talk at the Pindi Stadium Tuesday, Anderson said, nothing less than winning the series would pacify his team. “It is winning the series that is important for us. No matter what the conditions and playing surfaces are, we want to end up winning the series. We are well prepared to achieve that.”

Anderson is the only member of the England team that previously toured the country 17 years back but could not get the opportunity to play Tests in Pakistan. “I am not a good reader of the pitches but whatever the conditions are, our efforts would be to put pressure on Pakistan and win the series. Obviously, Babar Azam’s wicket holds importance for Pakistan. Getting some key wickets would help us make inroads into the Pakistan batting line-up.”

On the apparent look of the surface at the Pindi Stadium, Anderson believed it was a track suitable for the spinners. “We looked at the Australia and South Africa games as what the wicket would be like. But we are going into the Test with an open mind and will try our best to adapt to the conditions.”

He added that playing in Pakistan was nothing less than an exciting challenge. “Playing in the sub-continent always poses tough challenges. Our efforts would be to cover up all our bases well and try to mix up the things using new and old balls rather effectively and how to put pressure on the opponents when nothing is there on the wicket. I am not sure about the reverse swing value on this ground.”

Anderson, a veteran of 175 Test matches, hoped to bowl in tandem with Ollie Robinson. “Robinson is skillful and wants to learn with every game. We talk quite a lot and hopefully would make the best of the opportunity coming our way.”

The pacer believed that the learning process never ends. “Youngsters learn from me and I even learn from them. We do look after each other. There are cricketing brains with us who help us put in the best efforts.”

He admitted that it was not all about experience. “You have to bowl well to get wickets and play your role in victory. Putting your skills in practice by using your experience is more important.”

Anderson said that it would not be easy to exert support from wickets of the sub-continent wickets. “Yet, as fast bowlers our effort would be to pick 20 wickets. We have a captain who is a cricketing brain and has the ability to think out of the box.”

He thanked cricket fans in Pakistan for a fabulous welcome. “Good to be back after 17 years. I am thankful to the cricket fans in the country where the game is watched and eagerly followed. We will make all our efforts to entertain the crowd by putting in our best efforts.”

The experienced pacer praised Pakistan team saying England will have to play the best cricket to pin down the hosts. “Playing aggressive cricket has been England’s forte in recent times. That style of play will be in practice in the series considering the strength of the Pakistani team and the situation on that given day.”

On his personal targets, he said as long as his body would allow him, he would continue playing for his country. “I have never set any targets for myself before retirement. The moment I feel my body is not supporting me, I would call it a day,” 40-year-old Anderson said.

Anderson, who is England’s most successful Test bowler with 667 wickets in 175 matches, will feature in a Test in Pakistan for the first time, having played against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates in six Tests in 2012 and 2015, taking 22 wickets. Overall, Anderson has claimed 74 wickets against Pakistan in 18 Tests.