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Anderson predicts tough task for England

ESPNcricinfo staff

November 28, 2011

Comments: 93 | Text size: A | A

James Anderson is expecting a tough challenge for England to remain the No. 1 Test side in the world as they prepare to return to action in January. The team travel to UAE to play Pakistan early next year before a two-Test series against Sri Lanka in March.

It will be the first time England will play a Test match in the Middle East and Anderson believes England will need to adapt quickly to the conditions to be successful with their opponents having an inside track on what to expect.

"Pakistan played Sri Lanka over there recently and played really well and won the series," Anderson told ESPNcricinfo. "They're used to those conditions now but we've never played a Test match over there so it will be a new challenge for us and we'll see how we cope with that.

"We've had challenges before. We went to Australia and won there, so we'll be confident. We'll look to see how we're going to take 20 wickets because that will be difficult and crucial for us; the spinners might play a big part"

Anderson, with fellow England bowlers Stuart Broad, Chris Tremlett and Graham Onions, is heading out to South Africa with the England performance squad for a training camp ahead of the Test series as England look to preserve their status as the world's best Test team.

"It's been our goal to become number one in the world and we've got there sooner than we thought we would," he said. "Next year is going to be really tough for us. Getting to No. 1 is one thing but staying there is a completely different task."

Anderson was also the latest player to throw his weight behind the five-day game. "Test cricket, for most players, is the pinnacle. Obviously when you see games going on abroad with crowds not looking that great it does get quite worrying but I'm sure it's something that will be addressed and will work itself out in a few years."

While Graeme Swann recently suggested scrapping ODIs to preserve Test cricket, Anderson believes more five-Test series between the top sides could generate more interest. "When there's a five match series against Australia it's really exciting and goes down to the wire and the best team wins," he said. "The Ashes over the last few years have been really exciting cricket and it's keeping people interested, they still want to come back and see Test cricket."

Anderson also feels that a balance needs to be struck in the preparation of pitches for Test matches. "In the English summer the pitches had a little bit in them for the bowlers but if you bat well enough you can score big runs which we did," he said. "Organisers are going to want five days of cricket for the gate receipts but at the same time people want to see exciting cricket so the pitches need to be result pitches."

England begin a three-Test series against Pakistan in Dubai on January 17 before a two-Test series in Sri Lanka starting on March 26.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by gunnerr4life on (December 1, 2011, 20:03 GMT)

By looking at the comments , It seems like it's India hosting England in UAE ! For God's sake leave England alone . The 4-0 thrashing was a disgrace , no matter what you say !

Posted by JG2704 on (December 1, 2011, 19:43 GMT)

Radhakrishna Rao on (November 30 2011, 06:40 AM GMT) - people were accepting India as number 1 before the Indian series. That is why it meant so much to us to take over the number 1 position and beating the number 1 side to do so. If we had beaten Bangladesh, WI , NZ etc (and I'm not meaning to show disrespect to those nations) then I could accept people querying the opposition , but to beat the number 1 side fair , comprehensively (which is what we needed to do to become number 1) I thought we might have got some credit , but alas no credit whatsoever. If we were by some miracle to beat Pak/SL then I'm sure there will be some factors other than working hard and playing good cricket why we win those matches too.

Posted by JG2704 on (December 1, 2011, 19:31 GMT)

@dicky_boy - So by the same token our best od/t20 batsman Morgan was out of the recent OD series where England were whitewashed so that means that series didn't mean anything either - does that wash? Also you yourself said that ZK single handedly won a test vs SA but he didn't win the series for them did he?

Posted by dicky_boy on (December 1, 2011, 13:14 GMT)

Yev ghenny ON GOOD INDIAN BATTING TRACKS YOUR BATSMEN PLAYED50 overs ONCE OR TWICE LOL, WE JUST HAD ONE BAD SERIES BUT YOU CAN'T PLAY EVER IN INDIA LOL

Posted by dicky_boy on (December 1, 2011, 11:39 GMT)

Jmchilney well our otherm main bowlers ashish nehra and all retired from tests or were injured THIS COMING FROM U, YOUR COUNTRY MEN WERE GOING ON AND ON ABOUT LOSING EON MORGAN A BATSMAN WHO IS FROM A ANOTHER COUNTRY TO BEGIN WITH LOL LAST MONTH

Posted by Yevghenny on (December 1, 2011, 10:59 GMT)

result oriented? As in, good 4 day test match pitches? I think England would still be batting if there were timeless tests. Did India manage 10 wickets in a match, let alone 20?

Posted by jmcilhinney on (December 1, 2011, 10:30 GMT)

@dicky_boy, maybe that's the problem: India just aren't very good without ZK. A team that relies so heavily on one player just isn't a good team. All teams will sustain injuries at one time or another and if you can't win without a particular player then you really need to look at the rest of the team. England had Tremlett out and lost nothing. They could have had Broad or Anderson out and put Finn in and not lost much if anything too. If India's performance is so dependent on one bowler then they have a good bowler, not a good team.

Posted by dicky_boy on (November 30, 2011, 21:43 GMT)

MR YORKSHIRE PUDDING GO EAT SOME CAKE AND MAKE UP YOUR MIND ,FIRST YOU SAY U NEED TO GO BY THE ICC RANKINGS THEN U AGAIN SAY NO, AND BESIDES AGAINST A WEAKENED AUS SIDE WHAT DID U WIN NOTHING ZILCH, AWAY, WE WON IN WI,NZ,ALMOST BEAT SA IN SA WHILE U LOST TO WI AND ALMOST LOST TO SA , PITCHES IN ENGLAND ARE RESULT ORIENTED WHILE THEY R NOT IN INDIA, SO LEAVE THE NUMBERS

Posted by dicky_boy on (November 30, 2011, 21:38 GMT)

MR JG2704 ALL JOKES ASIDE SERIOUSLY ZAHEER KHAN MAKES A HE'LL OF DIFFERENCE FOR US LAST YEAR IN SA WE LOST FIRST TEST IN BY AN INNINGS AND WHEN ZAHEER CAME BACK HE WAS MONUMENTAL IN INDIA DOMINATING THE NEXT TWO TESTS AND ALMOST BEATING THE SOUTH AFRICANS ,YOU CAN LOOK AT THE STATS

Posted by JG2704 on (November 30, 2011, 18:10 GMT)

@Gerard Pereira on(November 29 2011,18:18 PM GMT) -I like the way you say you're not making excuses and then proceed to do just that. Is Zaheer Khan really that great a bowler that he could have turned around those sort of deficits into defeats.Sure he was good on the opening day of the 1st test but was wicketless and went for runs in the warm up game vs Somerset.If you analyse any series you can blame decisions etc.Re injuries I've done all that before.We had injuries ourselves and the thing you have to take into the equation is how bad just about every batsman bar Dravid was.Indian fans were saying (in England) wait til Sehwag comes back-it will be a different story.And what did he contribute when he played?What did H Singh+Gambhir contribute when they played?What did Tendulkar do for the whole series?Finally what's this "kicking a man when he's down"all bout?You constantly gloat + bitch and give zero credit to England and then expect us to feel sorry for you? Absolutely priceless

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