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Anderson named England vice-captain

James Anderson continued his wicket-taking form Getty Images

James Anderson has been named as England's Test vice-captain. He will act as Joe Root's deputy in Australia for as long as Ben Stokes remains unavailable.

Anderson, 35, is the leader of the bowling attack and, although he does not have much experience of captaincy, one of the squad's most senior players. With Stokes currently out of contention while police continue to investigate his part in a fight outside a Bristol nightclub, Anderson has been preferred as vice-captain to other candidates such as Alastair Cook, Root's predecessor in charge of the Test side, and Stuart Broad.

"It's a really nice thing that Joe has asked me to do," Anderson said. "I don't think it changes my role in the team. As a senior player I've always felt that I've a responsibility to help out other guys. Myself, Stuart and Alastair who have been here before - and had success here before - have an important role on this trip. So I don't see that role changing my role much."

England suffered the latest injury setback of their tour on Thursday, when Jake Ball sprained his ankle while bowling against a Cricket Australia XI. Ball was sent for a scan on Friday and could be a doubt for the opening Ashes Test in Brisbane, starting on November 23.

The mood in the England camp was hardly improved by a second-innings batting collapse, but England's remaining seamers rallied in Ball's absence, reducing the CA XI to 25 for 7 before an unbroken eighth-wicket stand of 45 carried the match into its final day.

"It was outstanding, I thought," Anderson said. "The three seamers bowled really well. We knew we had an important job to do, especially being a bowler down with Jake Ball injured.

"Having seen the movement the Australians got earlier in the day, we were encouraged by that. We knew we could challenge them, and that's what we did."

England's success under the Adelaide floodlights augurs well for their prospects in the second Test which gets underway at the same venue in three week's time.

"We've seen the batsmen struggle a little bit round the twilight period," Anderson said. "There's not much more swing, potentially it seams a little bit more as the dew comes down. [But] there's not a lot of difference it's just getting used to that light and the pink ball.

"We just tried to stay patient and we created pressure from both ends very well, and deserved those seven wickets.

"It's a first-class game, so we want to win it - you create a winning environment, [and] that's important going into a huge series like the Ashes."

With the current contest more or less over, England have one more four-day game at Townsville next week ahead of the first Test. Stuart Broad is expected to play in that game having sat this one out, with Anderson hinting that he is likely to make way for his new-ball partner.

"Some batsmen have got some really good time out in the middle; there are some guys who haven't," he said. "The bowlers seem to be getting better every spell they bowl.

"The batsmen's form isn't too much of an issue now, as long as they are scoring runs in that first Test at the Gabba. Personally, I feel like I've got enough bowling in my legs, and the ball is coming out well.