Anderson ponders lighter workload


Published: Wednesday 21st January 2015 by The News Editor

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England bowler James Anderson accepts he may soon be forced to cut his international workload, but has deferred any decision to focus fully on the World Cup.

Anderson’s importance with red or white ball is undeniable, standing alone as England’s most prolific one-day wicket-taker and just four scalps away from usurping Sir Ian Botham’s Test tally.

But at 32, and just back from a series of niggling injuries, he is aware that he may soon be tempted to sacrifice one format to preserve his threat in the other.

With the forthcoming World Cup an obvious watershed, Anderson may be tempted by retirement from the 50-over format – or at the very least strip back his availability – to offer greater time for rest and recuperation.

New ODI captain Eoin Morgan would be eager to retain Anderson’s services for as long as possible, the Lancastrian having marked his first one-dayer since September with a brilliant four for 18 against India on Tuesday.

A nine-wicket win at the Gabba revived England’s Tri-Series hopes following defeat to Australia, but it is the big prize that is dominating Anderson’s thinking at the moment.

Questioned about his future plans, Anderson said: “I’ve not looked that much further than the World Cup. I want to concentrate on this, and then maybe review it at the end of the World Cup…see where my body is in terms of tiredness.

“I’m sure it’s something we’ll discuss at the end of the World Cup, but at the moment I’ve worked hard to try and get fit again and I feel in a really good place fitness-wise.”

England’s 2015 schedule is brutal enough to give anyone pause, not least a fast bowler with a dozen years on the international treadmill to his name.

Once the World Cup campaign ends, which could be as late as March 29 should England reach the final, there is Test tour of West Indies and a home series against New Zealand before Australia arrive for an Ashes summer.

Factor in a winter trip to face Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates as well as the start of a lengthy visit to South Africa and the possibility of player burnout comes sharply into focus.

“For the foreseeable future (I feel good), yeah. If you ask me again at the end of the year I might have a different view,” admitted Anderson.

“At the moment, I feel in a good place, I’m happy with the way I’m bowling, I’m happy with my fitness, and I don’t want to look any further ahead than the World Cup, because it’s a huge competition for us and there’s a real belief in our team that we can do well in it.

“So we want to concentrate on that first, and then think about the amount of cricket we’ve got in the rest of the year later.

“I’m working hard in the gym trying to stay strong and just managing workloads in the nets is really important too, I think, doing quality rather than quantity and basically just saving myself for the middle.”

Having blown away India convincingly at the Gabba, England get a second crack at Australia in Hobart on Friday.

The opening fixture of the current series went decisively to the home side, who claimed a bonus-point victory.

Paceman Mitchell Starc needled the tourists by stating that result might “reopen a few scars” from last winter’s harrowing Ashes tour, but Anderson was unmoved by the suggestion.

“Not really because the majority of the group weren’t here for that,” he said in response.

“Not at all. It is completely different.

“We’re not just playing against Australia, we’ve got a bigger picture to look at. We want to win a World Cup and it is important we kick on from Tuesday’s performance.

“If we keep playing like that and keep working how we have been in practice then we’ll do well and we’re not dwelling on the past, we’re looking to the future.

“There is a genuine belief we can do well in this tournament. As long as we can keep that and keep building on that then we’ve got a good chance.”

Published: Wednesday 21st January 2015 by The News Editor

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