New Zealand v England, 1st Test, Hamilton, 1st day

Anderson links up with Auckland

Andrew Miller in Hamilton

March 5, 2008

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James Anderson struggled in the one-day series but now gets the chance to find some form © Getty Images
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James Anderson will link up with his England team-mates in Wellington ahead of the second Test after New Zealand Cricket agreed to allow him to turn out for Auckland in their four remaining fixtures of the State Championship.

The unexpected arrangement was put in place after Auckland lost both their strike bowlers, Kyle Mills and Chris Martin, to international duty, as well as two more - Darryl Tuffey and Andre Adams - to the rebel Indian Cricket League. However, according to Justin Vaughan, the chief executive of NZC, it was not a popular decision.

"We are not particularly enthusiastic about it, but we can understand why Auckland want to do it with some of their other bowlers absent," said Vaughan. "We would be happier if they gave a chance to a young New Zealand bowler because we can see a scenario where Anderson bowls himself into form and then helps England win the deciding final Test because of that."

For England, the move is opportune. Anderson suffered a worrying loss of confidence during the one-day series, and had slipped behind Stuart Broad in the pecking order for the Test series. Early in his England career he endured long periods of inactivity on tours under Duncan Fletcher, and suffered for his lack of match practice whenever he was thrown into the side at short notice, most notably at Johannesburg in 2004-05.

Auckland, which is only an hour-and-a-half up the road from Hamilton, will allow him to use his time on the sidelines productively. "He's played a lot of one-day cricket but didn't play in the three-day game last week so it's a great chance for him to go away and get some more experience of playing in New Zealand," said Moores. "Jimmy was very keen to go and play and that's how it came about because of his enthusiasm to get a game under his belt and get a bowl.

Vaughan said that he hoped that a reciprocal arrangement would be put in place when New Zealand visit England next summer, but when asked if he would be happy for that to happen, Moores sounded reluctant to commit, saying: "We'll cross that bridge when we come to it."

Andrew Miller is UK editor of Cricinfo

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Andrew Miller Andrew Miller was saved from a life of drudgery in the City when his car caught fire on the way to an interview. He took this as a sign and fled to Pakistan where he witnessed England's historic victory in the twilight at Karachi (or thought he did, at any rate - it was too dark to tell). He then joined Wisden Online in 2001, and soon graduated from put-upon photocopier to a writer with a penchant for comment and cricket on the subcontinent. In addition to Pakistan, he has covered England tours in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, as well as the World Cup in the Caribbean in 2007
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