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James Anderson warns England's seamers not to expect too much from pink ball

Veteran seamer set to lead the line under Adelaide floodlights in second Test

James Anderson practises with the pink ball at Adelaide, England training, The Ashes, Adelaide, December 15, 2021

James Anderson practises with the pink ball at Adelaide  •  AFP/Getty Images

James Anderson has warned England's bowlers not to get carried away with the prospect of extravagant movement with the pink ball, as the team looks to battle back into the Ashes in Thursday's second Test under the Adelaide floodlights.
Anderson, who sat out last week's nine-wicket loss in Brisbane, has been confirmed in England's 12-man squad for Adelaide, where he hopes to emulate the form he showed in the corresponding day-night contest four years ago, when he claimed his maiden five-wicket haul in Australia.
However, from his own experience of that game, and from studying Australia's form in each of the five floodlight Tests they've so far played at the ground, Anderson knows to expect a typical war of attrition for long periods of the contest, particularly during the daylight hours of the match.
"I had success with [the pink ball] last time here but, obviously, it is quite temperamental," Anderson said. "It's not a given that it's going to swing around corners, or seam, or anything like that. We know it's generally a good pitch here, and if the sun's out, then it won't do a great deal.
"It doesn't necessarily do nothing during the day, but it might not do as much," he added. "Especially for a new-ball bowler, you got to try and see if it's swinging. If not, then maybe you go slightly more defensive. If it is swinging, you can attack a little bit more. It's just the same in that respect as any other Test match, to be honest. It's something that we'll try and read as we go along."
England's hopes for the second Test received a relative boost when it was confirmed that Josh Hazlewood, one of Australia's most effective pink-ball operators, would be missing the match with a side strain. He was devastating in the last day-night match at the venue, claiming second-innings figures of 5 for 8 as India were routed for 36 on the third and final morning of the match.
"I've watched most of the pink-ball Tests here, whether it was actually being here or in middle of the night back home, to get an idea of how I should be bowling these conditions," Anderson said. "That was certainly a spell I watched and hopefully I can do something similar. From that [performance], and the practice that we've had, we know that it swings around at times, even earlier on in the day."
Even so, Anderson acknowledged that the prospect of bowling at twilight, with the extra assistance that the conditions seem to offer to the pink ball, was one that he would be relishing, even though he conceded it was largely "luck of the draw" as to which side would get the chance to capitalise on such a moment.
"There might be times during the game, at twilight when it gets dark under the lights, it might do a little bit more. But it's just it's trying to take advantage of those times when it when it does do a little bit more," he said.
"Both sides will be hoping for that, but there's nothing that we can control about that. We've got to be able to bowl well in all conditions, whether the sun's out at two o'clock in the afternoon or whether it's nine o'clock at night under lights."
If Anderson plays at Adelaide, it will be his fifth Test appearance at the ground, more than any other overseas venue. And, having starred there in adversity on his maiden England one-day tour in 2002-03, it means his association with the venue will have stretched across 20 seasons.
"I've probably had more crushing defeats than good times, but I think it's my favourite ground outside the UK," he said. "Obviously it's changed since I first played here, but I've always enjoyed it, whether it's been with the one-day side or the Test side.
"The atmosphere is great. People love their cricket in Adelaide and the stuff they've done to the ground I think is fantastic. It's now an amazing stadium. All the guys love playing here. And we're just hopeful of putting in a good performance to try and edge that back into more good games for me, rather than bad."