England pacer James Anderson said on Monday that the build-up to the 2021/22 Ashes is the quietest he has ever seen when in Australia. He added that the Australian people have been glad to see them come in the country for a tour, especially after emerging from a tough lockdown.
The upcoming Ashes is the fifth trip of Anderson, who was a member of the 2010/11 Ashes winning team.
“There is normally a lot of noise around an Ashes, plenty of verbal bashing, but this feels like the quietest build up to a series I have experienced over here. One guy in a restaurant tried to taunt us but it fell a bit flat when he warned us to get ready for a green seamer at the Gabba. I looked at Stuart Broad and we said ‘great, can’t wait then’,” wrote Anderson in his column for The Telegraph.
“This is my fifth Ashes tour and it has a very different vibe to what I have experienced in the past. We have gone out for dinner a few times and the nice welcome, barring the odd one or two individuals, shows the Australian public are genuinely happy to see us this time. They have recently emerged from tough, long lockdowns and are just glad the Ashes series is going ahead,” added Anderson, who has scalped 60 wickets in 18 Tests in Australia.
Talking about how an Ashes series in Australia ignites feelings in England cricketers, Anderson remarked, “There is just something about the Ashes as an England cricketer that lights a fire inside you. You know the history, and how much it means to Australians to beat England in front of their own crowds. You are here to be walloped and laughed at, your purpose is to make Australians feel good about themselves and take national pride in their team. It is our job to make sure that does not happen.”
The 39-year-old mentioned that his own preparation for the Ashes has been very different as compared to previous editions but has cited his rich experience to help him get into groove. “In terms of bowling overs out in the middle, I have never been so underprepared. With the weather and quarantine it has been a very different preparation to anything I’ve experienced before, let alone an Ashes. I feel fortunate that with my experience I will be able to switch on when that Test match comes around.”
Anderson signed off by saying that he would be happy if he plays in three Tests in the Ashes and get to be on the winning side for a second time. “Personally, I would be delighted to play three of the five Tests in this series. Anymore would be a great bonus. I was going to get through all five against India in the summer before the last was cancelled but this will be more intense and the conditions draining so we are going to have to manage our way through it. It is the same for Australia.”
“There is Test cricket and there is an Ashes series. There is Ashes cricket and then there is an Ashes series in Australia. It is another level again and to win over here for the second time in my career would be a very special feeling.”