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Sunday, January 15, 2012

We want to be remain no.1 in TEST- Jimmy Anderson

DUBAI: England paceman James Anderson discussed his team’s resolve to stay on top of the Test rankings, but warned they needed to beat Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka in this tough year.
England rose to world number one rankings by beating India 4-0 in August last year but face a test of their skills in the three series, the first starting here from Tuesday.
“We want to stay number one in the world. To do that, we’re going to have to win here and in Sri Lanka and then in India at the end of the year,” said Anderson ahead of the first Test against Pakistan.
“It’s going to be a tough ‘ask’ for us. But the best teams in the world do win out here (in this part of the world),” said Anderson of England’s tour to Sri Lanka in March and India in October.
England warmed up for the Test by winning both the three-day sides games, by three wickets against ICC Combined XI and downing Pakistan Cricket Board XI by 100 runs.
The 29-year-old pace spearhead, who featured in the first side game, said the players realised the enormity of the task.
“It’s going to be a tough job for us, especially for the seamers to help out our spinners. But we hope we can chip away with wickets, but our main job is to dry up runs and we know how to get 20 wickets out here.”
Anderson, who has so far taken 240 wickets in 63 Tests, hoped conditions in the United Arab Emirates will help movement for pacemen.
“It’s slightly different to India, because I think there’s going to be a little bit of movement early on. But generally it’ll be a flat pitch and reverse-swing and, mainly for the seamers, holding up an end for (Graeme) Swann to do his job.”
On Pakistan’s soured cricket relationship with England in the backdrop of 2010 spot-fixing scandal which ended in jail terms for Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer, Anderson said he was not thinking about that.
“I’ve not really thought about that, I’ve just concentrated on the leadup to this game, I’ve been approaching the way I would any other series, I’ll go there and play my natural game and be as aggressive as I usually am.”
Anderson also refuted any impression that England players would say any bitter words to their rivals.
“Words aren’t generally used anyway on the field…certainly not intelligent words anyway. That’s not something we are going to think about. We have actually forgotten, we have put that behind us, it’s in the past and that’s where it’s going to stay for us.
“We’re going to concentrate on our own cricket, like I said I am going to concentrate on my game and if I want to be aggressive I am really going to be aggressive.”

Swann wants to include two spinners agaisnt Pakistan

Swann backed the idea of playing with two spinners. -Photo by Pakihungama

DUBAI: Off-spinner Graeme Swann has advocated the idea of playing two slow bowlers in the England XI for the first Test against Pakistan starting here from Tuesday.
England warmed up for the opening match of the three-Test series with a 100-run win against a Pakistan Cricket Board XI with left-arm spinner Monty Panesar staking claims to partner Swann with eight wickets in the side game.
And Swann, England’s frontline spinner for some time now, backed the idea of playing with two spinners on the slow, turning pitches in United Arab Emirates.
“Yes I would, I’ve always advocated the use of two spinners and I love the rhythm and tempo the game takes when there are two spinners,” said Swann, who is likely to play a lead role for England again.
“You have all the men round the bat and with everyone in close you can make shot suggestions to the batsman that he might not otherwise do,” said Swann of the action when two spinners are employed in a Test.
England last played two spinners in a Test against Bangladesh in March 2010, with another off-spinner James Tredwell partnering Swann.
Irrespective of England’s ploy, Pakistan are certain to play with two spinners in Saeed Ajmal and Abdul Rehman.
Swann, 32, welcomed the return of Panesar, who has not played a Test since the Cardiff Ashes match in 2009.
“It is great to see Monty back and bowling so well. It is always tough if you lose form and your place in the team. It is very hard to dust yourself down and get back to your fighting weight,” said Swann, who doesn’t feel presure from Panesar.
“This week I wasn’t really focusing on how many wickets I took; I was focused on how well I was bowling and by the end I was very happy with it,” said Swann, insisting he is back to full fitness.
“I was a bit nervous going into the last warm-up game because my thigh felt like a 32-year-old’s rather than a 22-year-old’s. But it managed to get through and I felt great by the end of the game.
“So touch wood I’ll be 100% fit for the first Test,” said Swann, who has so far taken 153 wickets in 36 Tests.
When asked about Pakistani spinner Ajmal’s plans to unveil a mystery delivery, Swann replied with amazement:
“That is the greatest thing about it, because all the spinners that come up with these ‘balls’ so to speak, the names are highly unoriginal and not impressive.
“But the ‘teesra’ is a stroke of genius,” said Swann of Ajmal’s delivery named “teesra.”
Swann said he never bothered about mystery deliveries.
“I wouldn’t bother. I’ve never sat down and thought about it. I’m just impressed by the word teesra. Let’s face it – as an off spinner you can have a ball that goes one way and one that goes the other and one that goes straight on.
The three-Test series will be followed by four one-day and three Twenty20 internationals.