Monday, June 17, 2024

Ashes 2023: I’m done if series delivers more ‘kryptonite’ pitches like the one at Edgbaston, says Anderson

Veteran England fast-bowler James Anderson said he may not be able to operate at his effective best in the ongoing Ashes if the series continues to throw up pitches which were like the “kryptonite” lifeless pitch of Edgbaston.

Before the start of the highly-anticipated series, captain Ben Stokes had asked for “flat, fast wickets” for the Ashes. But the pitch at Edgbaston came for some criticism from seamer Stuart Broad, who described it as “soulless” and one of the slowest he had encountered in England.

Now Anderson, who had figures of 1-109 in the Ashes opener, has joined Broad in calling out the Edgbaston pitch for its slow nature and not giving enough help to fast bowlers. “That pitch was like kryptonite for me. There was not much swing, no reverse swing, no seam movement, no bounce and no pace.”

“I’ve tried over the years to hone my skills so I can bowl in any conditions but everything I tried made no difference. I felt like I was fighting an uphill battle. It’s a long series and hopefully I can contribute at some point, but if all the pitches are like that I’m done in the Ashes series,” wrote Anderson in his column for The Daily Telegraph on Friday.

The veteran pacer is now fully focused on giving his best for the second Ashes Test, starting on June 28 at Lord’s.

“I know I wasn’t on top of my game this week. It was not my best performance. I know I have more to offer and contribute to the team. I want to make up for it at Lord’s and all I can do is turn up on Sunday and prepare to play.”

Despite playing in an ultra-attacking way, England are now 1-0 down with four matches still left to play in the Ashes after suffering a two-wicket defeat to Australia in a thrilling series opener at Edgbaston. Anderson feels there were plenty of positives to take into the second Test for England.

“After Day Four, Brendon McCullum said, ‘We had won already regardless of the result because of the reaction from people about the way we played, and the fact we had stuck to our style’. It can be very easy to go into your shell in an Ashes after all the hype.”

“The first morning felt different to the games we have played over the past 12 months. There was more tension, more pressure, but once we settled into it we played exactly how we have been for the past 12 months and Ben and Brendon were proud of that.”

“It feels like the way we are playing is working. Obviously, we know we want to win, and we will be judged on the result, but as a team, it is good that we are judging ourselves on our performance.”

“We played four and three-quarter days of excellent cricket; it is just that Australia managed to get over the line. Even Pat Cummins said he was not sure which side played the better cricket. We know who made all the running,” he concluded.

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