London, Aug 3 : Former England captain Nasser Hussain has backed veteran fast-bowler James Anderson to find his form and leave an impact during the side’s Test tour of India next year after an unimpressive time in the recent Ashes series.
Anderson struggled to leave an impact during the drawn 2-2 series against Australia, taking just five wickets at an average of 85.40 from four appearances. Englandâ€™s next Test assignment is a five-match series in India from January 25 to March 11 next year, with Hyderabad, Visakhapatnam, Rajkot, Ranchi and Dharamshala being the venues.
Anderson, who has the most Test wickets (690) for any fast bowler in the history of the format, has picked six of his 32 five-wicket hauls in Tests against India, with his average in the country being 29.32.
“Jimmy’s got a very good record against Indiaâ€¦and you need a balanced attack. You need that experience for younger players to come in. Listen, Jimmy’s had a bad or an average couple of months, but you are a fool if you’re writing off Jimmy Anderson. I spoke to him in an interview yesterday and he was like, the hunger is still there,” he said.
“He’s already thinking about how to get back to his best. He’s already thinking about going back in the nets and working hard at his game and that’s a good sign for me that he’s still got that hunger. He’s, what, 10 wickets away from 700, and that will keep him going for a while yet,” said Hussain in a recent episode of the ICC Review show.
With Stuart Broad retiring from the game, along with Moeen Ali back to his retirement from Tests, it leaves Anderson with more responsibility to lead Englandâ€™s bowling line-up in India and Hussain believes his previous experience of playing in the country will come in handy.
“I think especially with Broad going, I would like that experience (in India). Chris Woakes has stated that he’s not that keen anymore on playing away from home and his record’s not great away from home. We’ll see, he (Woakes) might change his mind. There’s been a lot of mind changes recently. But if you don’t have Woakes and you don’t have Broad, you will need that experience of someone like Jimmy Anderson,” he added.
Hussain also thinks England have some good depth in their bowling ranks and can put good performances in India, which will serve as a huge Test for Ben Stokes & Co riding on the ultra-attacking approach of playing.”Jack Leach will (hopefully) be back and Rehan Ahmed is a very good second spinner, as we saw in Pakistan. Josh Tongue has bowled really well. Ollie Robinson is a very skilful bowler. Unfortunately, someone like Olly Stone is injured and obviously, Jofra Archer is injured.”
“You need that extra pace as well in India. So, England have got…they’ve got that lad (Gus) Atkinson at Surrey, who has a lot of good things being said about him. So England have options. Itâ€™s the next test for Bazball. They said Bazball will work against one side, then they moved on to the next side. Then they moved on to New Zealand, Australia, and Pakistan. The next challenge is India and everyone knows India in India is one of the sternest challenges in Test match cricket. It’s Bazball against spin. Bazball against Ravi Ashwin, (Ravindra) Jadeja and Axar Patel and that is going to be fascinating,” he concluded.
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