Anderson confident after return from rib injury
James Anderson showed he was fully recovered from his fractured rib as he delivered 22 impressive overs on the opening day against Western Australia in Perth and claimed the wicket of Luke Pomersbach.
It was his first full day of competitive cricket after suffering the injury during England's pre-Ashes camp in Germany, but Anderson insisted it was no longer a worry. "To be honest, I haven't really been thinking about the ribs for a while now, since I got back into training," he said. "It's just as though it never happened.
"To break a bone in your body is a bit of a worry and I was a bit worried the first week after it happened - it was quite sore - but once I got training again and running again I didn't feel it so I was pretty confident that I'd be fine."
While Stuart Broad led a dramatic start with two wickets in his first over, Anderson delivered a miserly opening spell, giving away just eight runs from his first nine overs before lunch. He finished with figures of 1 for 49, while Broad picked up 3 for 47. With Steven Finn, Paul Collingwood and Graeme Swann also chipping in with a wicket apiece before Western Australia declared at 8 for 242, Anderson lauded a patient performance from England's attack.
"It went pretty well, it was a pretty tough pitch to bowl on because there's not a great deal there after the ball gets softer," he said. "I think it's going to be a patience game over here when the ball gets old. The first 10 or 15 overs are going to be crucial with that new ball. Reverse-swing might play a part somewhere down the line. On a lush outfield like this we've just got to be patient. I think we showed pretty good patience today.
"I think, in general, we're pretty happy. I think Swanny got better as the day went on, Broady bowled brilliantly up front, I was pretty happy with the way I bowled and Finny showed glimpses of some form. It was a great start and I think it showed the intent we've got on this tour."
The one worry for England was Finn's inconsistency as he struggled to find the right length, but Anderson suggested that the young bowler would quickly learn. "I'm not sure how much he's bowled in Australia before," he said. "He might take a couple of spells, a couple of good spells, to get used to the length he's got to bowl out here, which might be slightly different to the one he bowls in England. It might take him a couple of games, but we're confident he'll be fine. He showed enough form today to be right in the Test squad."
After Alastair Cook's early dismissal to Steve Magoffin, Anderson was back on the field as nightwatchman and gave the England camp a minor scare when he was struck on the body while batting. But he dismissed any worries that his rib injury had been aggravated. "It was the wrong side, it hit me in the armpit," he said.