jimmy: duo can be a big test hit

Andy Don­ley hears from James An­der­son on how two of his young Lancs team-mates can make an im­pres­sion for Eng­land

The Cricket Paper - - FEATURE - Jimmy An­der­son was speak­ing on be­half of BRUT, the iconic men’s groom­ing range. Fol­low @BRUT­forMen

HASEEB Hameed and Liam Liv­ing­stone would “def­i­nitely” make wel­come ad­di­tions to the Eng­land Ashes tour­ing party, ac­cord­ing to Lan­cashire team­mate Jimmy An­der­son.

Un­cer­tainty in the Eng­land bat­ting line-up has left a host of County hope­fuls dream­ing of a strong fin­ish to the Cham­pi­onship sea­son and a po­ten­tial Ashes call-up this win­ter.

Liv­ing­stone, who made his Eng­land de­but in the South Africa t20 se­ries ear­lier this year, threw his name into the ring for a Test spot with a buc­ca­neer­ing dou­ble hun­dred against War­wick­shire last week.

Mean­while, Hameed has had a dif­fi­cult do­mes­tic sea­son, strug­gling to rekin­dle the form that led to him mak­ing an im­pres­sive Test de­but in In­dia last year, where he scored two fifties in three matches.

And An­der­son – who came into the third Test against the West Indies three wick­ets shy of be­com­ing the first English­man to 500 scalps – be­lieves both could make an im­pres­sion Down Un­der.

“They’re be­ing thought of and they’re highly re­garded as well, I know that for a fact,” he told

“Haseeb has played Test matches, Liam has been in the Eng­land side this year in the t20s – for them, it’s about get­ting as many runs as pos­si­ble be­fore the end of the sea­son.

“I’d def­i­nitely trust them in the Test team. They’ve both had a taste of in­ter­na­tional cricket, they both know what’s re­quired, they’ve both got re­ally good heads on their shoul­ders so we could do a lot worse than them.”

Be­fore any prospec­tive in­ter­na­tional hon­ours, Hameed, Liv­ing­stone and Lan­cashire have four matches to over­turn a 36-point gap to Es­sex at the top of the County Cham­pi­onship to claim an un­likely Di­vi­sion One ti­tle.

The loss of se­nior South Africans Ash­well Prince and Alviro Petersen over the last two sea­sons, as well as cricket di­rec­tor Ash­ley Giles be­fore the cur­rent cam­paign, left the Red Rose with an in­ex­pe­ri­enced bat­ting card and a rookie coach in club stal­wart Glenn Chap­ple.

De­spite that, Lan­cashire went into this week’s match against Es­sex at Old Traf­ford know­ing that a vic­tory would leave them well placed to take the ti­tle – a plan that has been scup­pered some­what by soggy weather as the match heads to­wards a draw.

But with Alex Davies en­joy­ing a pro­lific sea­son as an opener to join Hameed and Liv­ing­stone in a home­grown top three aged 23, 20 and 24 re­spec­tively, the signs are promis­ing for con­tin­ued suc­cess in the fu­ture.

“We might have sur­passed our ex­pec­ta­tions, we might have sur­prised a few peo­ple as well,” said An­der­son.

“To see Es­sex and Lan­cashire at the top of the di­vi­sion might sur­prise peo­ple but I was around for the start of the sea­son and our view was that we have a very strong team.

“You’ve got Haseeb who’s prob­a­bly had a dis­ap­point­ing sea­son from his own point of view, but with him in that top three you’ve got three lo­cal lads who have all come through the academy.

“It’s a great thing for the club to see, and they’ve done bril­liantly well.

“We have a re­ally strong bat­ting lineup and we’ve got some top bowlers so we knew we could put in a chal­lenge. It was just a case of stay­ing con­sis­tent through­out the year.

“That’s some­thing we’ve done so far and hope­fully that can con­tinue with this push to­wards the end of the sea­son.”

An­der­son him­self is hav­ing a stun­ning 2017, tak­ing 51 wick­ets from 12 first-class matches at 16.96 be­fore the start of the third West Indies Test at Lord’s on Thursday. Not bad for a 35-year-old. Fif­teen of those wick­ets came in a five-match stint with Lan­cashire at the start of the sea­son, as Eng­land fo­cused on the Cham­pi­ons Tro­phy.

And de­spite now be­ing 14 years on from his Test de­but against Zim­babwe, An­der­son be­lieves he is still im­prov­ing as a bowler, and pre­dicted he still has a few more years of in­ter­na­tional cricket to give.

“There’s no rea­son why I can’t play till I’m 40,” he added.

“Some­thing all bowlers need is a bit of nous and savvy, and I think I’ve got that now.

“I’ve worked on try­ing to be as skil­ful a bowler as I pos­si­bly can be. I’m now as skil­ful and con­sis­tent as I’ve ever been and that’s why I think I’m as good a bowler as I’ve ever been – but I don’t know whether I’ve peaked yet.

“You never stop learn­ing. The more I can get into my brain, the more I can give on the field.

“My body feels fine, if any­thing you get used to it. I bowled 50-odd overs at Head­in­g­ley and the next day I got out of bed pretty well.

“The hard­est part is the men­tal side of the game, the scru­tiny, the pres­sure. At the mo­ment I still en­joy that, and I think that when I stop en­joy­ing it, that’s when I’ll stop.”

PIC­TURE: Getty Images

In with a shout: Lan­cashire’s Liam Liv­ing­stone

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