The Investec Ashes 2013 July 6, 2013

'England better with Pietersen' - Anderson

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James Anderson has praised Kevin Pietersen as "an extraordinary player" and a "vital" part of the England dressing room.

At the height of the unrest in the England dressing room in 2012, Anderson was believed to be one of those opposed to the manner in which Pietersen conducted himself. While there was never any doubting Pietersen's ability with the bat - he scored a century of rare class and skill in the Headingley Test before England dropped him - there had been persistent murmurs of discontent behind the scenes and the suggestion that the disruption he caused within the team compromised his worth as a batsman.

But whatever issues there may have been, Anderson confirmed they have been consigned to the past and provided an unmitigated show of team unity as England head into the Investec Ashes series.

"We're definitely a better team for Kevin's inclusion," Anderson said. "He's just an extraordinary player. There's not really any down side at the minute.

"We saw it this week in the match at Chelmsford. I know he only got 49, but it just seemed far too easy for him. He seemed in great form. An in-form Kevin Pietersen is vital to our team going forward.

"We had a really good week at Essex. The dressing room was relaxed when it could be and switched on when it needed to be. On the field I thought we were very professional. But generally there is a really relaxed feel in the camp and real excitement of what is about to come."

Perhaps due to issues in the dressing room, England failed to do themselves justice in the key series against South Africa last year. That manifested itself, among other things, with some poor catching in the slips. They were errors which were severely punished by South Africa's batsmen.

While Anderson accepted that England had produced a disappointing display against South Africa and, more recently, in New Zealand, he hoped that such memories would spur them on to do better this year.

"I don't think we played as well as we could have done against South Africa," Anderson said. "Actually, we didn't play anywhere near to the level that we know we can. If you do that against the top team in the world then you're going to struggle. And we struggled.

"We're aware of what that slip in form did to our standing in the rankings and that's something we're going to try and put right. We showed determination when we got there a couple of years ago, a lot of determination, hard work and a lot of skill and quality, and that's what we're trying to get back to is get our standards back up to where we know we can get them. And I think we've come a long way in doing that the last 12 months.

"Slip catching has not really been an issue for us. We are generally pretty good there. It might just have been one of those series where we were not quite on the ball. We've tried to constantly improve. We had a great result in India and a good result at home against New Zealand, so we feel like we're in good shape."

Anderson agreed that Michael Clarke, the Australia captain, was a daunting opponent, but suggested that Jonathan Trott, not Clarke, was currently the world's leading batsman in Test cricket. Both men have scored two centuries and three half-centuries in their last 10 Test innings and both have Test averages in excess of 50. Clarke, however, scored successive double-centuries against South Africa in 2012, while Trott failed to register a century in England's series against the same opposition.

"Clarke is right up there among the best," Anderson said. "He's been in great form and scored lots of hundreds over the last year. But the best in the world? That's a bit harsh on Jonathan Trott. I'd say Trotty is at the minute.

"But Shane Watson is as good an opening batter as I've bowled at in international cricket and Chris Rogers is an extremely experienced cricketer. So we'll have to try and figure out some plans to and execute them well. If we don't play well there's a very good chance we'll lose."

Hundreds of local cricket clubs will #RISE for England by holding open days over the five Investec Ashes series weekends. Find out about your local club and their event at ecb.co.uk/clubopendays

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • whoster on July 7, 2013, 20:09 GMT

    Massive boost to have KP back in a unified dressing-room. A top six of Cook, Root, Trott, Pietersen, Bell and Bairstow looks pretty strong - and having Prior at seven is a real advantage for England. The Aussie pace-attack looks capable of being dangerous, but it's anyone's guess which three will play - and the same goes for the spinner's spot. Apart from Finn or Bresnan, England know their side and what order they'll bat.

    I should think the Aussies will play better under Lehmann, but a few players will have to suddenly come good for them to have any chance. Hopefully Clarke's back will allow him to play a big part in both Ashes series, but he's due a lean trot with the bat - and hopefully it'll begin in Nottingham!

  • Teachers on July 7, 2013, 0:09 GMT

    Kevin is to England what Warne was to Australia, brilliant but controversial. Like Warner, he has a tremendous ego and can turn a game on it's head, but like Hughes, he can also be set up to self destruct, and hopefully Clarke can bring this about. A good, honest assessment from Anderson who, on his home turf, is probably the most destructive swing bowler in the world today.

  • Greatest_Game on July 8, 2013, 20:53 GMT

    @ SamRoy. I'm very interested in finding out more about your observation that "ABD's keeping against spinners on turning tracks borders on the atrocious." I'd like to look at some of that on video. Could you please list some matches in which this can be seen. Specific matches on turning tracks, of course, is what I'm looking for, as I have not seen footage of him keeping on turning tracks. Looking forward to hearing from you, & thanks in advance for the info.

  • Greatest_Game on July 8, 2013, 20:34 GMT

    @ jackiethepen. RE defense: a different perspective. Stats of 5 of the top batsmen since July 2010. (Min 25 inns: excludes those in games vs Bang & Zim - Sanga, Samuels, Chanders, Misbah, Pujara. Too much calculating for 1 post!)

    Averages: Amla 66.72. de Villiers 65.55. Kallis 62.56. Cook 57.36. Clarke 53.70. Now, who do you think is the most defensive of these batsmen? Probably Kallis, the old, dour, slow, defensive accumulator.

    Strike Rates: Clarke 59.6. Amla 59.36. ABdV 59.05. Kallis 57.26. Cook 46.79.

    Kallis is up there with the fastest! He also scored the most centuries per innings, 1 per 4.11. Surprise - he hit the MOST 6s OF ALL: 23 in 37 inngs. AB, 20 in 37, Clarke 16 in 57, etc. Whoa - old JK the six hitter?

    Kallis, known for dogged, defensive, match saving innings, is an attacking batsman too. As you wrote, "When the bowling is on top ... stay in ... then ... counter attack," or, wear down the attack, then attack them!

    P.S. The fastest test 50? Kallis (vs Zim)

  • on July 8, 2013, 18:58 GMT

    england best bastman pietersen

  • Greatest_Game on July 8, 2013, 16:03 GMT

    @ jackiethepen. You are one of the very few I have seen identify defense as critical to test cricket. You wrote "The talk is all about attack ... Australia lost in India 4-0 because they didn't know how to bat defensively ... When the bowling is on top for a period you need to know how to stay in. Once you've done that, then you can open up and counter attack."

    Aus were in the other position vs SA last year. For 2 tests Aus attacked brilliantly - Clarke was magnificent! Aus could have won the 1st, should have won the 2nd, but SA's defense held. 2nd test, 4th innings, ABdV's SR was 15 for 220 balls! Kallis, injured, played 110 balls. Aus dominated, but SA did not lose. In the 3rd test, after SA counter attacked, Aus faced a huge 4th inngs ask. Only Cowan defended, lasting 149 balls. Next best was 52. Warner: 34 balls, SR of 85.29! That's not defense. (Aus fans - no insult intended. Eng did the same to SA & drew in 09/10.)

    Test series are like war. Think of WWII, & Eng's defense!

  • SuperSharky on July 8, 2013, 9:52 GMT

    Kevin Pietersen was part of the England team that won the Ashes for the first time since a decade or more. The last few Ashes that England has won, Kevin Pietersen was part of the recipe. Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff were also the blokes that brought back the more attacking and more confident Ian Botham style England player back to the scene. The toughie. Although I don't like Kevin Pietersen and his attitude very much, I still do agree that he is a very good cricketer and he is very needed in the England setup. The South Africans played the mental-game a 100% and they were very good at it. The way they played Kevin Pietersen, Andrew Strauss and the other players against each other, were brilliant. They needed that turmoil in the English camp to held the mental grip. Welcome back K.P.

  • on July 8, 2013, 8:49 GMT

    indian bowler zaheer khan is better dan Anderson

  • jackiethepen on July 8, 2013, 8:45 GMT

    A lot of football fans on here by the sound of it. The talk is all about attack. But Ian Chappell said that Australia lost in India 4-0 because they didn't know how to bat defensively. This is Test cricket. When the bowling is on top for a period you need to know how to stay in. Once you've done that, then you can open up and counter attack. Let's put it like this. If you only know how to attack then you have fewer strokes at the wicket. You can't predict whether that wicket is going to help the batsmen or the bowlers - and it will change over five days. There is an awful lot of thinking going on it Test cricket. If you only play aggressively then you will be worked over by bowlers on a helpful wicket. That is why in a good team you have a mixture of types of batsmen. They are all there to play to their strengths. You have to have skill to survive against a spell of good bowling. Even the football fans must know that a team without a good defence is likely to lose.

  • SamRoy on July 8, 2013, 6:11 GMT

    @Milhouse79 Prior is definitely the best keeper/bat in the world in test cricket. ABD's keeping against spinners on turning tracks borders on the atrocious. MSD's keeping is actually safe if he doesn't have injuries. He always seems to have the odd injury because no one in world cricket plays 80% as much as he does. Anyway, MSD is not a good batsman on bouncy pitches, if there is a little bit of movement in them because of his bottom hand technique and his tendency to go at the ball with hard hands. But if you compare overall cricketer except for those bouncy pitches (in SA, Australia, Barbados, Jamaica and Trent Bridge and sometimes Oval) I will pick Dhoni over Prior every time. Reason he is the most destructive wk batsman since Adam Gilchrist and can turn a game on its head anytime.

  • whoster on July 7, 2013, 20:09 GMT

    Massive boost to have KP back in a unified dressing-room. A top six of Cook, Root, Trott, Pietersen, Bell and Bairstow looks pretty strong - and having Prior at seven is a real advantage for England. The Aussie pace-attack looks capable of being dangerous, but it's anyone's guess which three will play - and the same goes for the spinner's spot. Apart from Finn or Bresnan, England know their side and what order they'll bat.

    I should think the Aussies will play better under Lehmann, but a few players will have to suddenly come good for them to have any chance. Hopefully Clarke's back will allow him to play a big part in both Ashes series, but he's due a lean trot with the bat - and hopefully it'll begin in Nottingham!

  • Teachers on July 7, 2013, 0:09 GMT

    Kevin is to England what Warne was to Australia, brilliant but controversial. Like Warner, he has a tremendous ego and can turn a game on it's head, but like Hughes, he can also be set up to self destruct, and hopefully Clarke can bring this about. A good, honest assessment from Anderson who, on his home turf, is probably the most destructive swing bowler in the world today.

  • Greatest_Game on July 8, 2013, 20:53 GMT

    @ SamRoy. I'm very interested in finding out more about your observation that "ABD's keeping against spinners on turning tracks borders on the atrocious." I'd like to look at some of that on video. Could you please list some matches in which this can be seen. Specific matches on turning tracks, of course, is what I'm looking for, as I have not seen footage of him keeping on turning tracks. Looking forward to hearing from you, & thanks in advance for the info.

  • Greatest_Game on July 8, 2013, 20:34 GMT

    @ jackiethepen. RE defense: a different perspective. Stats of 5 of the top batsmen since July 2010. (Min 25 inns: excludes those in games vs Bang & Zim - Sanga, Samuels, Chanders, Misbah, Pujara. Too much calculating for 1 post!)

    Averages: Amla 66.72. de Villiers 65.55. Kallis 62.56. Cook 57.36. Clarke 53.70. Now, who do you think is the most defensive of these batsmen? Probably Kallis, the old, dour, slow, defensive accumulator.

    Strike Rates: Clarke 59.6. Amla 59.36. ABdV 59.05. Kallis 57.26. Cook 46.79.

    Kallis is up there with the fastest! He also scored the most centuries per innings, 1 per 4.11. Surprise - he hit the MOST 6s OF ALL: 23 in 37 inngs. AB, 20 in 37, Clarke 16 in 57, etc. Whoa - old JK the six hitter?

    Kallis, known for dogged, defensive, match saving innings, is an attacking batsman too. As you wrote, "When the bowling is on top ... stay in ... then ... counter attack," or, wear down the attack, then attack them!

    P.S. The fastest test 50? Kallis (vs Zim)

  • on July 8, 2013, 18:58 GMT

    england best bastman pietersen

  • Greatest_Game on July 8, 2013, 16:03 GMT

    @ jackiethepen. You are one of the very few I have seen identify defense as critical to test cricket. You wrote "The talk is all about attack ... Australia lost in India 4-0 because they didn't know how to bat defensively ... When the bowling is on top for a period you need to know how to stay in. Once you've done that, then you can open up and counter attack."

    Aus were in the other position vs SA last year. For 2 tests Aus attacked brilliantly - Clarke was magnificent! Aus could have won the 1st, should have won the 2nd, but SA's defense held. 2nd test, 4th innings, ABdV's SR was 15 for 220 balls! Kallis, injured, played 110 balls. Aus dominated, but SA did not lose. In the 3rd test, after SA counter attacked, Aus faced a huge 4th inngs ask. Only Cowan defended, lasting 149 balls. Next best was 52. Warner: 34 balls, SR of 85.29! That's not defense. (Aus fans - no insult intended. Eng did the same to SA & drew in 09/10.)

    Test series are like war. Think of WWII, & Eng's defense!

  • SuperSharky on July 8, 2013, 9:52 GMT

    Kevin Pietersen was part of the England team that won the Ashes for the first time since a decade or more. The last few Ashes that England has won, Kevin Pietersen was part of the recipe. Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff were also the blokes that brought back the more attacking and more confident Ian Botham style England player back to the scene. The toughie. Although I don't like Kevin Pietersen and his attitude very much, I still do agree that he is a very good cricketer and he is very needed in the England setup. The South Africans played the mental-game a 100% and they were very good at it. The way they played Kevin Pietersen, Andrew Strauss and the other players against each other, were brilliant. They needed that turmoil in the English camp to held the mental grip. Welcome back K.P.

  • on July 8, 2013, 8:49 GMT

    indian bowler zaheer khan is better dan Anderson

  • jackiethepen on July 8, 2013, 8:45 GMT

    A lot of football fans on here by the sound of it. The talk is all about attack. But Ian Chappell said that Australia lost in India 4-0 because they didn't know how to bat defensively. This is Test cricket. When the bowling is on top for a period you need to know how to stay in. Once you've done that, then you can open up and counter attack. Let's put it like this. If you only know how to attack then you have fewer strokes at the wicket. You can't predict whether that wicket is going to help the batsmen or the bowlers - and it will change over five days. There is an awful lot of thinking going on it Test cricket. If you only play aggressively then you will be worked over by bowlers on a helpful wicket. That is why in a good team you have a mixture of types of batsmen. They are all there to play to their strengths. You have to have skill to survive against a spell of good bowling. Even the football fans must know that a team without a good defence is likely to lose.

  • SamRoy on July 8, 2013, 6:11 GMT

    @Milhouse79 Prior is definitely the best keeper/bat in the world in test cricket. ABD's keeping against spinners on turning tracks borders on the atrocious. MSD's keeping is actually safe if he doesn't have injuries. He always seems to have the odd injury because no one in world cricket plays 80% as much as he does. Anyway, MSD is not a good batsman on bouncy pitches, if there is a little bit of movement in them because of his bottom hand technique and his tendency to go at the ball with hard hands. But if you compare overall cricketer except for those bouncy pitches (in SA, Australia, Barbados, Jamaica and Trent Bridge and sometimes Oval) I will pick Dhoni over Prior every time. Reason he is the most destructive wk batsman since Adam Gilchrist and can turn a game on its head anytime.

  • on July 8, 2013, 3:50 GMT

    All criticism (even constructive) aside re Aus teams woes and challenges, its great to see England being so polished and diligent in their preparations. A well balanced side, players in form, a good age mix in the team (something the Aussies need to start to learn from), and as this article shows, team unity (even if just formally) to present a strong front to the opposition. No one will (or should) argue that Eng clearly have the superior side in this series, but its great to see their professional approach and lack of complacency. They definately set the benchmark on that front.

  • SidArthur on July 8, 2013, 2:10 GMT

    Peitersen always fails when the going gets tough. He will fail against Australia yet again.

  • H_Z_O on July 7, 2013, 23:19 GMT

    @Greatest_Game well, I'm not sure that those sorts of claims are "worthless", per se, at least not amongst fans. Discussing and debating this sort of thing is fun, but it's ultimately just a set of opinions rather than objective fact.

    And I agree with you that neither Clarke nor Trott is, in my opinion, the best (Amla for me, with Kallis probably a close second, and to be fair to him AB is finding a bit of form now. There's a reason South Africa are #1 and it's not just their bowling).

    You call it Ashes hype, I call it Ashes myopia. There's this attitude in both countries as if cricket as a sport is merely a prelude to the important thing, the Ashes. Series against India? Just prep for the Ashes. Series against South Africa? Likewise. It's a lousy way to look at the game. I love the Ashes, it's a special series, but cricket is a lot more than that. It's an insult to guys like Amla and Steyn to act as if they don't matter because they don't play for England or Australia.

  • Greatest_Game on July 7, 2013, 19:35 GMT

    @ H_Z_O. I promote no player as "the best," & think such claims are mostly worthless. I presented the ICC's current top ranked 5, & the top run scorers of the year, as, besides Chanders, those top 5 are all on the runs list, & interestingly Trott heads it. The correlation seemed relevant.

    As you point out, Sanga's scored against less challenging bowlers, & Chander's ratings benefitted similarly. Amla & AB made runs against Pakistan & NZ, considered stronger attacks, but honestly, I don't think that they were at their best then. Their SA tours seemed to strengthen them.

    Agreed, the ODI reference is "off topic," pertinent only that Trott then ranked 3rd - 80 points behind the "conveniently ignored" Amla & AB, & Kumar lies close behind Trott. Another interesting parallel.

    Ultimately my sole opinion is neither Clarke nor Trott currently fit the bill. As part of Ashes hype, manufactured claims that ignore "inconvenient truths" do neither the series nor the game any good.

  • Jaffa79 on July 7, 2013, 17:44 GMT

    REALMADRIDFAN, I can tell that football and not cricket is your favourite sport! Prior averages 44 and is considered by many to be the best keeper/bat in the world (ABDV could contest this) and thrashes attacks to all parts! You say MSD and I'd agree Dhoni is a class act but his keeping is bog average and you say BM...do you mean Brendon McCullum? He hasn't been the regular keeper for NZ for ages now mate! Anderson was the standout quick bowler this winter on the lifeless tracks of India, skittled the Aussies over there last time and took 9 wickets @ 27 in the UAE when Eng played Pakistan. You clearly don't watch much cricket...stick to La Liga pal

  • REALMADRIDFAN on July 7, 2013, 10:20 GMT

    England as a unit without K P sucks bigtime. they r so boring to watch. a lot of grafters and no one to force the issue. and pls matty prior is not all that great. average bat and a decent keeper. nothing more. BM,MSD are much better. Swann is always a class apart. anderson always need favourable conditions. not so much to talk about the other bowlers. England r fortunate that australia is their opposition. other teams are also pretty much mediocre these days. but england is a the only team on the rise. all others are lagging behind. hope in the future to see much brighter cricket from england.

  • Vinod_Fab on July 7, 2013, 10:13 GMT

    KP looks as good as ever as far has batting is concerned..IMHO i haven't seen anyone in this modern era to match his batting prowess whenever the chips are down.. KP-- Same calibre as of Sir Viv.. I am damn sure that he will score 2 tons and both will result in massive win... I still goes with 5-0,the major reason being KP in the team.. If KP would have injured then i would have predicted AUS winning 3-2 or 2-1 but unfortunately AUS have to contend with in form KP..!!.. ENG gonna destroy this AUS side once and for all..!!..

  • THE_MIZ on July 7, 2013, 8:49 GMT

    While I see the reason that Anderson made that comment about Trott - obviously trying to play a bit of mind games with Australi - I don't agree. I would go as far to say that Trott is IMO England's 3rd Best behind Cook and at no.1 Pieterson. His aggressive nature just gives England that X-Factor. As a South African, I was struck in awe in 2nd Test when he made that century against the Proteas. Brilliant batting! I think that quality makes him England's best even if the stats don't agree.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on July 7, 2013, 8:45 GMT

    With all the victories over India and Australia these last few years, it's easy to forget Pietersen's occasional problems as the rest of the team have played so well. A time during which of course, KP was still at his best. After scoring healthily in County cricket, he now looks to have found form just at the right time going into the Ashes. Which makes for another piece of bad new for Australia, as if they needed another one! To compare the two batting line ups is extraordinary: Captain Cook leads, not follows, the batting unit, facing the first ball of the innings every innings. If he gets out to the new ball, something which in England is always more likely to happen to an opener than on the flat decks of India or Oz, England still have the dependable Trott, the swashbuckling Pietersen, and the aesthetics of Bell that they know are proven reliable components of this world class team. Australia, lurching from one mess to the next, have it utterly the opposite. Eng 2, 3, 4-0.

  • H_Z_O on July 7, 2013, 8:31 GMT

    @SICHO Smith's an unusual left-hander, I think most would agree. He's very onside orientated, very bottom-handed and ungainly-looking (but effective). Jimmy's best threat against the left-hander is the inswinger (away swinger to left-handers) out to slips but the way Smith plays he'll just leave that all day long. Bowl outswing on his pads and he'll whip you into the onside for fun (because that's his strength). Of course Smith's also a cut above most players in terms of gutsiness, which helps.

    @Jono Makim I'd agree KP's our most likely match-winner with the bat but "best" is subjective and depends on what you're looking for your batsmen to do. I back Cook and Trott to score runs more consistently, but KP can buy you time on a dead pitch, or a shortened match, or take the momentum away from the other team when they are on top. It's good for us to have all three, although I rate Clarke above them.

  • H_Z_O on July 7, 2013, 8:20 GMT

    @Nikhil Baiju Cook's average is comparable (actually a nudge better) than Smith's. Pietersen's is comparable (a nudge worse) than De Villiers. Trott, who you mention, has a similar record to Amla's at 3 (although he's not as good as Amla, imho). That said, I agree South Africa are a class apart from everyone, mostly because Kallis is a phenom (with bat and ball) and their bowling attack is better than England's, and their batting better than Australia's (whose bowling is comparable to theirs).

    As jmcilhinney pointed out, however, England dropped Amla repeatedly. So as well as he played, England's poor fielding definitely helped him on the odd occasion he needed it (and trust me, having watched it, it was rare he gave us a sniff). If we'd taken our catches we certainly would have been in the contest. But we didn't, and we weren't, we were battered, and that's all that matters.

  • the_blue_android on July 7, 2013, 8:17 GMT

    Trott the best test batsman in the world at the moment? May be Clarke and Amla needs to score quadraple hundreds to be considered better than Trott who did not have any good scores against good bowling attacks like Pak and SA.

  • H_Z_O on July 7, 2013, 8:09 GMT

    @Greatest_Game Agree with you about Amla, but Chanderpaul? De Villiers? Sangakkara?

    You say Sangakkara has 442 runs in 4 innings with 3 tons. Yes, but those were all against Bangladesh at home. Bangladesh's top-ranked bowler is ranked 16th. The next highest is ranked number 50. Meanwhile Australia, England and South Africa could each field two attacks from their players ranked in the top 50.

    Chanderpaul's figures are even more inflated. Two of his recent tons were against Zimbabwe. He's still a class batsman, and a few years ago he was the best around, but right now he's in the middle of the pack.

    De Villiers didn't register a 50 in England, and only registered a century in Australia once Australia were down to their reserves at Perth. Kallis out-performed him, with big runs against England and Australia.

    And ODI rankings don't matter. While Jimmy's quote didn't say so, the article states his quote was in response to a question about the best Test batsman in the world.

  • vsroc on July 7, 2013, 7:52 GMT

    Posted by Venkat Sraman on (July 7,2013) It is true that inclusion of Kevin Pietersen will strengthen the England cricket team. Cricket lovers all over the world will enjoy the highly competitive Ashes series by witnessing the live matches through television.

  • on July 7, 2013, 7:20 GMT

    Not that any Englishman would ever like to say it, but KP is unquestionably England's best batsman, just for the danger he represents, he can truly swing a match in the time it takes Cook or Trott just to get themselves in. Clarke is edging him on form right now though.

  • SICHO on July 7, 2013, 7:11 GMT

    the only time England looked competitive during last year's series against South Africa was at Leeds when KP was batting. The bowling never lived up to its hype and the Steyn-Anderson competition was a utter disappointment (Philander was actually a more lethal and threatening bowler than Jimmy in that series). If I can recall, Anderson was suppose to pin Smith plumb lbw with his eyes closed, well we know what happened, one dismissal in five innings (and it is said that Jimmy is brilliant against left handers, the question is which left handers?) . Bottom line, England never looked like beating SA, dressing room issues or not.

    About the best batsman in test cricket at the moment, the honours have to go to Amla and Clarke. Besides Trott was pathetic against SA while Clarke scored two double centuries against the same opposition, even AB is far better than Trott. But I think Jimmy is just being nice to his teammate. Maybe Anderson means "the best batsman in these series".

  • on July 7, 2013, 5:34 GMT

    I think what Anderson said the comparison about trott and Clarke, he regarded trott is better than Clarke, it just trott is his teammate and Clarke is his opponent. In reality Clarke is best batsman especially in test right now, if he bats @ 4 Australia has better chance of making big totals with other batsman playing around him, I'm saying becoz record says that, what I like about Clarke is that he plays just like pieterson in test which is scoring runs at speed of 60 plus or around strike rate whereas trott is just grinding on grinding on kind of batsman, so Clarke has big chance of scoring double and tripple hundreds. I might be saying that I'm big fan of Clarke as his innovative captaincy and his batting ofcourse though I also like cook is his more orthodox captaincy and his runmushine batting who bats for 100 overs or more with same amount of concentration. Still I would like to see Australia winning ashes, becoz they r underdogs and I support underdogs

  • on July 7, 2013, 5:27 GMT

    There was no way England could have beaten RSA in that series - dressing room squabbles or not. I've said this before and i'm gonna say it again. The English team is overrated as hell. Anderson and Broad average over 30 and are considered quality bowlers? Except Trott no one averages over 50 in the batting line up. SA are simply a class apart

  • Broken_F-ing_Arm on July 7, 2013, 5:05 GMT

    Basically for the past 2 years the top 3 have been Clarke, Amla, Cook and that hasnt changed. You cannot judge performances based on only 2013 as its only July. Clarke averaged over 100 last year and didnt do anything wrong in India, especially with everyone failing around him, but then again Amla keeps chalking up breathtaking knocks. For me Clarke, Amla, 1 and 2, Cook a bit behind at 3 and guys like Trott, Sangakarra, Chanderpaul etc. after that.

  • Eskimo on July 7, 2013, 4:23 GMT

    How quickly they forget what Amla did to them. I don't think Anderson meant what he said about Trott being better against Clarke. He has a very good record against Australia, but he was no real threat for Steyn and Co. The rankings speak for itself though I think very highly of Clark. Personally, Clarke is the best batsman in the world at this moment for me. Trott is good, he just wasn't good enough to play for SA.

  • kensohatter on July 7, 2013, 2:09 GMT

    Fair go Jimmy... Jonathan Trott world best batsman?!? He is quality and definitley test match standard but worlds best is a fair jump. Heres some stats that should put this to bed....since the last ashes series M.Clarke 23 test matches... 5 centuries, 3 double centures, 1 triple century and 5 fifties against India (home and away), sri lanka (home and away), South africa (home and away and NZ at home. J. Trott 25 tests... 3 centuries, 1 double, 11 fifties... centuries against NZ, India and SL all away and a double against SL at home. Only fifities against south africa, west indies and pakistan... I think the person who should feel insulted here is Alaistair Cook whose record at least compares to clarkes figures.

  • jmcilhinney on July 7, 2013, 2:01 GMT

    This article mentions England's catching and that could prove vital in this series. England cost themselves about 300 runs in the first Test alone against SA when Strauss dropped Amla. It was a difficult chance and SA dominated that game anyway though. It was what came later that made the biggest difference. Had they held their chances in games 2 and 3 then they may well have drawn or even won that series. There's a lot of talk about the standard of this England team but, in that series at least, their batting and bowling was good enough to have got them home if they had held their catches, many of which were quite simple chances. Again, Amla was lauded for his performance on that tour yet, had England held their catches, he would not have passed 50 in any innings in any format for the whole tour. Whatever you think of this Australia batting lineup, they can make you pay if you drop catches. For all his batting prowess, KP might be a fielding culprit, having put down 2 against Essex.

  • disco_bob on July 7, 2013, 1:16 GMT

    I am impressed with the sensible comments coming from the England camp and slightly embarrassed at reading some of Pattinson's comments in the tabloids. Having said that it's either brave or foolish of Pattinson to put that pressure on himself, so I'll reserved judgement and give him the benefit of the doubt.

  • Lmaotsetung on July 7, 2013, 0:35 GMT

    I for one am tired of journalists constantly bringing up the KP Saga...IT'S BEEN A YEAR ALREADY...GIVE IT A REST! Is there really nothing else to talk about besides ancient history?

  • H_Z_O on July 6, 2013, 23:40 GMT

    Got to say I think Clarke's the best batsman on either side. But neither he nor Trott is the best Test batsman in the world. Hashim Amla is (2 centuries and 4 50s in his last 10 innings). He got two tons against the Aussies (including 196 off 221 balls at Perth) and two against us (including, of course, that 311). His tons sealed both the series in his side's favour. Clarke's probably next in line and if he has a good series with the bat he might be the best in the world.

    In fact I'm not sure Trott's even our best batsman. He might be in better form than Cook recently, but Cook has 6 tons in the last 12 months, 1 against the Saffers and 3 against India in India. In fact while Amla and Clarke have been more consistent, both have less tons in the last year (4 each). When you consider he faces the new ball every time (so his inconsistency is somewhat mitigated by getting a good one early on) that's no mean feat. Australia will be hoping to get him early and often.

  • dunger.bob on July 6, 2013, 23:03 GMT

    I've got to hand it to Jimmy. He's tried to say all the right things in this interview. Things like: We're a happy team. We're comfortable in our own skins and there's no issues in the dressing room. "come here KP, time for a group hug".

    He even had a bit of a crack at praising up the Aussies. .. 'Clarke ain't bad, and I'm sure there must be at least one other Aussie who might get a few runs. Maybe Watson' ... a brave effort there Jimmy.

    It must be difficult for the English players to keep the hype going when they know, deep, deep in their hearts that all they really have to do is turn up, play to about 80% of their potential and they will quite easily roll this rabble of an Australian side. ... It can't be easy at all.

  • 2.14istherunrate on July 6, 2013, 22:59 GMT

    Thanks ,Jimmy. That was well said. KP is a genius in my view and one we must cherish. Of course there are other components of great importance in this side, but his absence over 3 tests was noticeable beyond the tolerable. He's simply the best since Viv. We should have a fine side out there on Wed all in all. Go get 'em ,guys!

  • Greatest_Game on July 6, 2013, 22:44 GMT

    One would think that Anderson might remember his experience, just a year ago, of fruitlessly bowling to Hashim Amla as he posted 311 not out. How quickly he has forgotten.

    Amla is ranked #1 by the ICC. Chanderpaul, de Villiers and Sangakkarafollowing, then Clarke at #5. Trott is ranked a little lower, at #10.

    Taking a look at the current form of these batsmen, this year Trott scored the most runs - 481 in 9 innings, ave 53.44, with 1 century. But, in 2 less innings, de Villiers scored just 11 less: 470 in 7, ave 78.33, with 2 centuries. Amla has 8 less than AB, 462, also in 7 innings, ave 77, with 1 century. Kumar Sangakkara tops the lot - 442 in 4 inngs, ave 110.25, and 3 centuries. Clarke has 365 in 8 inns, ave 45.62, 1 century.

    All listed have career ratings higher than Trott, & higher batting averages. de Villiers & Amla head the ODI rankings. Neither Trott nor Clarke can realistically be considered the world's leading batsman. Playing the Ashes does not earn that title.

  • PGSGimson on July 6, 2013, 22:27 GMT

    A lot of respect for Jimmy and the way he deals with the press. Bit different from some of the young Ozzies (Pattinson)

  • Jordanious77 on July 6, 2013, 22:17 GMT

    I'd agree with Anderson that Trott is the best Test batsman in the world atm.

  • landl47 on July 6, 2013, 21:48 GMT

    Nothing much new here. Jimmy is making the right noises, but that's the easy part. Let's see England back it up on the field.

  • landl47 on July 6, 2013, 21:48 GMT

    Nothing much new here. Jimmy is making the right noises, but that's the easy part. Let's see England back it up on the field.

  • Jordanious77 on July 6, 2013, 22:17 GMT

    I'd agree with Anderson that Trott is the best Test batsman in the world atm.

  • PGSGimson on July 6, 2013, 22:27 GMT

    A lot of respect for Jimmy and the way he deals with the press. Bit different from some of the young Ozzies (Pattinson)

  • Greatest_Game on July 6, 2013, 22:44 GMT

    One would think that Anderson might remember his experience, just a year ago, of fruitlessly bowling to Hashim Amla as he posted 311 not out. How quickly he has forgotten.

    Amla is ranked #1 by the ICC. Chanderpaul, de Villiers and Sangakkarafollowing, then Clarke at #5. Trott is ranked a little lower, at #10.

    Taking a look at the current form of these batsmen, this year Trott scored the most runs - 481 in 9 innings, ave 53.44, with 1 century. But, in 2 less innings, de Villiers scored just 11 less: 470 in 7, ave 78.33, with 2 centuries. Amla has 8 less than AB, 462, also in 7 innings, ave 77, with 1 century. Kumar Sangakkara tops the lot - 442 in 4 inngs, ave 110.25, and 3 centuries. Clarke has 365 in 8 inns, ave 45.62, 1 century.

    All listed have career ratings higher than Trott, & higher batting averages. de Villiers & Amla head the ODI rankings. Neither Trott nor Clarke can realistically be considered the world's leading batsman. Playing the Ashes does not earn that title.

  • 2.14istherunrate on July 6, 2013, 22:59 GMT

    Thanks ,Jimmy. That was well said. KP is a genius in my view and one we must cherish. Of course there are other components of great importance in this side, but his absence over 3 tests was noticeable beyond the tolerable. He's simply the best since Viv. We should have a fine side out there on Wed all in all. Go get 'em ,guys!

  • dunger.bob on July 6, 2013, 23:03 GMT

    I've got to hand it to Jimmy. He's tried to say all the right things in this interview. Things like: We're a happy team. We're comfortable in our own skins and there's no issues in the dressing room. "come here KP, time for a group hug".

    He even had a bit of a crack at praising up the Aussies. .. 'Clarke ain't bad, and I'm sure there must be at least one other Aussie who might get a few runs. Maybe Watson' ... a brave effort there Jimmy.

    It must be difficult for the English players to keep the hype going when they know, deep, deep in their hearts that all they really have to do is turn up, play to about 80% of their potential and they will quite easily roll this rabble of an Australian side. ... It can't be easy at all.

  • H_Z_O on July 6, 2013, 23:40 GMT

    Got to say I think Clarke's the best batsman on either side. But neither he nor Trott is the best Test batsman in the world. Hashim Amla is (2 centuries and 4 50s in his last 10 innings). He got two tons against the Aussies (including 196 off 221 balls at Perth) and two against us (including, of course, that 311). His tons sealed both the series in his side's favour. Clarke's probably next in line and if he has a good series with the bat he might be the best in the world.

    In fact I'm not sure Trott's even our best batsman. He might be in better form than Cook recently, but Cook has 6 tons in the last 12 months, 1 against the Saffers and 3 against India in India. In fact while Amla and Clarke have been more consistent, both have less tons in the last year (4 each). When you consider he faces the new ball every time (so his inconsistency is somewhat mitigated by getting a good one early on) that's no mean feat. Australia will be hoping to get him early and often.

  • Lmaotsetung on July 7, 2013, 0:35 GMT

    I for one am tired of journalists constantly bringing up the KP Saga...IT'S BEEN A YEAR ALREADY...GIVE IT A REST! Is there really nothing else to talk about besides ancient history?

  • disco_bob on July 7, 2013, 1:16 GMT

    I am impressed with the sensible comments coming from the England camp and slightly embarrassed at reading some of Pattinson's comments in the tabloids. Having said that it's either brave or foolish of Pattinson to put that pressure on himself, so I'll reserved judgement and give him the benefit of the doubt.

  • jmcilhinney on July 7, 2013, 2:01 GMT

    This article mentions England's catching and that could prove vital in this series. England cost themselves about 300 runs in the first Test alone against SA when Strauss dropped Amla. It was a difficult chance and SA dominated that game anyway though. It was what came later that made the biggest difference. Had they held their chances in games 2 and 3 then they may well have drawn or even won that series. There's a lot of talk about the standard of this England team but, in that series at least, their batting and bowling was good enough to have got them home if they had held their catches, many of which were quite simple chances. Again, Amla was lauded for his performance on that tour yet, had England held their catches, he would not have passed 50 in any innings in any format for the whole tour. Whatever you think of this Australia batting lineup, they can make you pay if you drop catches. For all his batting prowess, KP might be a fielding culprit, having put down 2 against Essex.