BRIS­BANE OF OUR LIVES

An­der­son: The Gabba has been Eng­land’s hoodoo ground for too long... it’s time to go there and show Aussies we mean busi­ness

Daily Mirror - - CRICKET COUNTDOWN TO THE ASHES - EX­CLU­SIVE BY DEAN WIL­SON JAMES AN­DER­SON was speak­ing at the launch of BRUT’s Christ­mas gift packs, avail­able at su­per­drug.com

JAMES AN­DER­SON says it is time for Eng­land to end their 31-year Bris­bane hoodoo and give the Aussie pub­lic some­thing to think about.

Writ­ten off be­fore they even landed, Eng­land have, ac­cord­ing to An­der­son, a squad that can not only re­tain the Ashes but lay down a marker at the ‘ Gab­ba­toir’ where so many teams have fal­tered from the off.

It was the place where a draw was enough to launch Eng­land’s suc­cess­ful tour of 2010-11, but this time around An­der­son wants to go one bet­ter and hit the Aussies where it hurts.

“You’ve got to put it all out there in Bris­bane and come away with some­thing,” said An­der­son. “We can’t go there think­ing we’ve got to get a draw, we have to go and try to win the game.

“I think we should be look­ing to beat them at Bris­bane. It would be such an amaz­ing ef­fort be­cause of how well they play there and the record they’ve got there.

“They haven’t lost a game there for so many years and I don’t think Eng­land have won there since 1986, so that is the sort of record we should be look­ing to break. To beat them would be a mas­sive coup for us and it would get them think­ing, and the rest of Aus­tralia too.”

To do that, you would think An­der­son and Stu­art Broad need to lead the way in get­ting rid of David Warner and Steve Smith ( be­low) early, with Sir Ian Botham sug­gest­ing in these pages there isn’t much more to come.

“They are im­por­tant wick­ets, es­pe­cially Smith as their cap­tain,” added An­der­son. “He is a very im­por­tant wicket and one we’ll be look­ing to get as early as pos­si­ble for sure.

“You’ve got to give him a lot of credit for work­ing very hard on turn­ing him­self from a strug­gling No.6 to a player who could bat at three or four for any in­ter­na­tional side.

“I’ve got a lot of re­spect for that and re­spect for him so I’ll be look­ing for­ward to pit­ting my skills against him and see how it comes out.”

It is An­der­son’s fourth tour Down Un­der and to say he has ex­pe­ri­enced the full range of emo­tions in Ashes cricket would be a mas­sive un­der­state­ment.

His 24 wick­ets in 2010-11 con­trib­uted hugely to the 3-1 suc­cess of that tour and it re­mains a per­sonal high­light for a man with more than 500 Test wick­ets. But he also knows what it is like when the boot is on the other foot, suf­fer­ing two 5- 0 Ashes white­washes, with 2006- 07 a par­tic­u­larly tough tour.

He said: “The worst trip I had was back in 2006-07. On and off the field it wasn’t par­tic­u­larly nice, but I’d have to say the last two have been bril­liant.

“My last­ing mem­ory of that 06- 07 trip was that it ate ev­ery­one up. Away from the ground ev­ery­one was think­ing about cricket and wor­ry­ing ‘oh no, we’ve got another game com­ing, we’re go­ing to get ham­mered again.’ You’ve got to get away from that.

“I know we got beat 5-0 last time but it is still an amaz­ing place to tour and you’ve got to em­brace the cul­ture and go out and see things and do things and meet peo­ple.

“You’ve got to get to the beach, go and see kan­ga­roos, get on the golf cour­ses, what­ever it is you want to do, take ad­van­tage and do it be­cause the cricket and the train­ing and the fo­cus will be there so you’ve got to en­joy your down­time.”

BRUT OF A TOUR An­der­son re­flects on his mixed ex­pe­ri­ences Down Un­der with Mir­ror Sport’s Dean Wil­son

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