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World Cup 2011

Shahzad backs Anderson to perform

ESPN.co.uk staff

March 22, 2011

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James Anderson does some stretching during practice, Chennai, March 16, 2011
James Anderson has had a disappointing World Cup so far © Associated Press
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Players/Officials: James Anderson | Ajmal Shahzad
Series/Tournaments: ICC Cricket World Cup
Teams: England

Injured seamer Ajmal Shahzad is backing England team-mate James Anderson to rediscover his best form, insisting that "all it takes is one game for him to turn it around".

Anderson has looked a shadow of the bowler who claimed 24 wickets during the Ashes triumph in Australia, sending down numerous wides and failing to adapt to the sub-continent conditions in the tournament so far.

However, Shahzad believes Anderson, who was dropped for England's must-win match against West Indies last week, will get through his "difficult" time and reproduce the form he showed to earlier in the winter.

"He has found it a little bit difficult," Shahzad told Sky Sports. "I don't think it's because of tiredness, India and Bangladesh are very difficult places to play cricket. You don't get much with the ball, you've got to rely on your skills and you've got be firing.

"Jimmy's been finding it a little bit difficult and it mentally drains you a little bit. I've seen him in the nets, I know what he's capable of doing, he's one of the best bowlers England have produced. We all saw what he did in the Ashes, all it takes is one game for him to turn it around, for it to click and I hope he does that when he gets another chance."

Shahzad's participation at the World Cup was cut short due to a hamstring strain and, although he is making great strides in his recovery, he admits he was "gutted" to leave the tournament prematurely.

"It's getting there," he said. "I haven't really tested it out yet but it's good to get a few days off and a bit of rest and hopefully I'll be fit and fighting in the next couple of weeks. I am very gutted, because obviously it is the biggest stage of the world, playing against the best teams and the best players and I wanted to show what I had to offer."

When asked whether his injury was a reflection of how much cricket is played or just bad luck, he said: "Probably a little bit of both. We played a lot of cricket over the winter - the Ashes was magnificent and then the ODIs were a little bit tougher. Then to go into a World Cup on the back of that was a little bit difficult but the lads knew what was coming up and we knew we had to pace ourselves.

"There have been a few niggles and injuries but I think they've come about from the guys putting in 110% in all the games we've played. I guess it's been frustrating for all the lads."


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Posted by Andrew on (March 23, 2011, 13:36 GMT)

when you watch gul and zaheer get the yorkers in at will, then you watch the england bowlers miss the length completely, it's really depressing for an english fan. not just anderson either. bresnan and tremlett were almost as bad. bowling half volleys and bouncers.

thing is, anderson has it in him to bowl with much better control, and when he does, his condfidence is higher and he feels more inclined to then use his variations in pace, which he's good at.

i guess if you lack confidence, you bowl a bit straight-jacketed!

still a great bowler in tests though. even in the subcontinent because of his reverse swing.

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 23, 2011, 7:45 GMT)

I still believe that Anderson is not at all good useful for Limited overs. Just like India you will also have to solely depend on a single bowler, i.e. SWANN. Dont expect anything from other bowlers.

Posted by John on (March 23, 2011, 0:29 GMT)

Shahzad himself would have been very useful in the conditions England are likely to face in the remaining games. However, I agree with him that Jimmy Anderson must bowl, and bowl well, for England to progress further in the tournament. He's shown flashes of form (he bowled very well against South Africa), but the display against Bangladesh was awful. Tremlett, unlike in the Ashes, didn't seize his chance and, to be frank, he doesn't look at all suited to the conditions. I'm expecting to see Anderson back in the side against Sri Lanka and hopefully the time off will have enabled him to get back on track. When he's on form, he's one of the best bowlers in the game.

Posted by sidhant on (March 22, 2011, 14:55 GMT)

shazad you must be joking!!!!!

Posted by Syed on (March 22, 2011, 13:36 GMT)

Jimmy is really wonderful bowler with skill of reverse swing. It would be better to include him in the side for quarter finals. England hasn't any bowler like him in the team. I confident if he could play, Sri Lankans surely would be in trouble. Good Luck Jimmy…….. its your turn now.

Posted by Abhimanyu on (March 22, 2011, 13:20 GMT)

Good moral support for his teammate. Good man, Shahzad.

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