WE ’ LL MATCH AUSSIES ’ FIRE
Jimmy promises fast start to Ashes
JIMMY ANDERSON prefers to express himself with wickets – but the England paceman admits he does love the trash talk surrounding The Ashes.
With the opening Test against Australia at Edgbaston now less than a month away, Anderson is starting to focus his thoughts on the likes of David Warner, Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne.
But that has not prevented him enjoying the hype which has seen fellow quickie Ollie Robinson predicting a 5-0 England win.
And Aussie spinner Nathan Lyon hitting back with the promise that the men in the baggy green caps will be the ones delivering a thrashing.
Anderson, 40, prefers to expend his energy on thinking how he will add to a Test haul of 685 wickets that stands as a world record for a fast bowler.
But the Burnley Express said: “I loved hearing Ollie say we’re going to whitewash the Aussies because it shows how confident he feels going into the series.
“I really admire the way Ollie plays the game and what he brings to our team. So if he thinks that, then great.
“I’ve never been one to get involved in that kind of verbal stuff, but it gives the fans something to talk about and it does bring more focus to the series and an extra bit of spice.
“It’s all part of the noise that everyone now expects from an
Ashes series and it all adds to the occasion and the spectacle.
“Nathan Lyon has come out with something similar, but we are used to that because he does tend to do a lot of talking off the pitch.
“But the truth is that Nathan is actually a pretty quiet bloke when he’s out in the middle, so we don’t take anything he says too seriously.”
Anderson was back where it all started for him during the week when he visited his old primary school in Burnley as part of an initiative by the Chance to Shine charity and Lord’s Taverners to take coaching into the nation’s playgrounds.
St Mary’s Roman Catholic Primary School is in the shadow of Turf Moor and a six-hit away from the square at Burnley Cricket Club where
Anderson cut his teeth as a kid. Deputy head Amanda Barrett still refuses to call him Jimmy.
She recalls: “James was a quiet boy – but when it came to sport he was very competitive.”
Anderson’s combative nature has not been dulled by a 20-year Test career that has had to evolve again in the 12 months since coach Brendon Mccullum (left) and captain Ben Stokes introduced the ultraaggressive Bazball approach to the England camp. Anderson said: “It isn’t just about being more positive with the bat. “There has also been a big change in the way we play in the field. The message from Ben is that he wants 20 wickets and he doesn’t care too much about the run-rate. “In years gone by, my job has often been to be patient and boring and dry the runs up at one end to create pressure.
“It feels like we’re on the attack all of the time now, setting fields to force the issue.
“It’s been a big change – but the important thing is that we have all bought into it.
“Trying to play Bazball against Australia will be a challenge, but I can’t see Ben or Brendon backing down.
“If anything, the message will be for us to be even more positive and aggressive against them.
“We know how the Aussies will react. They’re an aggressive, competitive team who never take a backward step themselves.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if Australia tried to come back at us even harder, so it should be a fantastic Ashes series.”