Anderson: We have to rally around Kerrigan

England

England fast bowler James Anderson defended debutants Chris Woakes and Simon Kerrigan, after Australia climbed to a formidable 307 for four on day one of the fifth and final Ashes Test at The Oval in London on Wednesday.

England fast bowler James Anderson defended debutants Chris Woakes and Simon Kerrigan, after Australia climbed to a formidable 307 for four on day one of the fifth and final Ashes Test at The Oval in London on Wednesday.

Seamer Woakes and spinner Kerrigan, replacing batsman Jonny Bairstow and injured all-rounder Tim Bresnan respectively, were largely chastened by centurion Shane Watson, who screamed to a career-best 176.

Watson's vigil spanned 247 deliveries and 339 minutes and featured 25 boundaries and a solitary six. The new caps, meanwhile, went without breakthrough – and conceded a hefty 105 runs in 23 overs between them.

Kerrigan, after graduating to the international fold on the back of an impressive 47 wickets in 10 County Championship Division Two fixtures this season, was particularly expensive – copping 53 runs from his eight overs.

"It was a tough day. But it's difficult to say whether this XI worked after one day. The guys in the dressing room have a job to do. We have to rally around Kerrigan and keep his spirits high," said Anderson.

"He has had one bad day. He can come back and come back strong, show everyone he can do it. We all try and talk to each other and I was talking a lot to Woakes too. Anyone can have an off day, not just a debutant.

"Even if you've played 80 Tests you need people to help pick you up. The other 10 players know exactly what Simon can do, he is a quality bowler and he has been fantastic for Lancashire the last few years."

The right-handed Watson, who cherished a promotion to three in the order after the left-handed Usman Khawaja was sidelined and debutant James Faulkner stationed at seven, suggested seamer Chris Tremlett should have been named in the host XI.

The tall Tremlett has been in the squad for the bulk of the five-match series, and was tipped for selection amid conditions expected to prove conducive to his ability to extract steep bounce.

"I was expecting Tremlett to play to be honest. He had quite a lot of success against us in Australia in the last Ashes series. He bowled beautifully in the games he came in so I was certainly expecting him to play, more so than Woakes and Kerrigan," added Watson.

"In the end they have obviously got their reasons why they are picking those guys and I'm certainly a little bit happier than I would be having to face a guy who is six foot eight with balls bouncing up all of the time – I'm certainly not complaining."

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