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regular-article-logo Tuesday, 18 June 2024

No heroics from James Anderson if Ashes deliver more 'kryptonite' pitches

Despite the defeat, Anderson said there were plenty of positives to take into second test at Lord's, which begins on June 28

Reuters Published 23.06.23, 11:06 AM
England's James Anderson reacts during day five of the first Ashes Test cricket match, at Edgbaston, Birmingham, England, Tuesday, June 20 2023.

England's James Anderson reacts during day five of the first Ashes Test cricket match, at Edgbaston, Birmingham, England, Tuesday, June 20 2023. Reuters

James Anderson said the lifeless Edgbaston pitch in the Ashes opener was like "kryptonite" to him and fears he will be powerless to help England fight back against Australia if the surfaces in the remainder of the series are flat and slow.

Captain Ben Stokes had asked for "flat, fast wickets" for the series but seamer Stuart Broad described the Edgbaston surface as "soulless" and one of the slowest he had encountered in England.

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Anderson acknowledged he was below his best in the opener, posting match figures of 1-109 on his return from a groin injury, but said the wicket had done him no favours.

"If all the pitches are like that I'm done in the Ashes series," he wrote in his Daily Telegraph column. "That pitch was like kryptonite for me. There was not much swing, no reverse swing, no seam movement, no bounce and no pace.

"I've tried over the years to hone my skills so I can bowl in any conditions but everything I tried made no difference. I felt like I was fighting an uphill battle. There was a bit of rustiness but I gave it everything I could.

"I know I have more to offer and contribute to the team. I want to make up for it at Lord's."

England declared on 393-8 on the first day and were in the driver's seat for much of the match but Australia's often cautious approach paid off as they claimed a two-wicket victory thanks to a 55-run ninth-wicket partnership between captain Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon.

Despite the defeat, Anderson said there were plenty of positives to take into second test at Lord's, which begins on June 28.

"After day four (coach) Brendon McCullum said we had won already regardless of the result because of the reaction from people about the way we played, and the fact we had stuck to our style," he added.

"It feels like the way we are playing is working. Obviously we know we want to win, we will be judged on the result, but as a team it is good that we are judging ourselves on our performance."

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