Cunning Anderson keeps his edge


England's record wicket-taker, James Anderson, remains confident he can keep doing a job for his country, even if his speeds should drop.

The seamer felt his pace had dipped a little after returning from injury in the second Test at Old Trafford but also believed he showed great control.

Anderson told ESPN Cricinfo: "I didn't feel like my speeds in Manchester were where they could be.

"I felt a bit like Matthew Hoggard at the end of his career when he slowed down a bit but his control was pretty good.

"With the skills I have, I can do a job even if my speeds did drop. With experience you can stay one step ahead in your head. It is like an old defender in football who might not have the pace of a quick striker but he's two steps ahead of him upstairs."

Despite suffering a number of injuries over the course of the last year, Anderson doesn't feel he is at the point now where he might start to think about retiring and has said that as long as he is hungry, he will play.

The paceman continued: "The way I feel at the moment, mentally, I've still got a hunger to play the game and a hunger to take wickets and help my team win matches,

"As long as I've got that hunger I'm going to keep working, keep improving and keep working on my fitness and if I get to 37 then great. I just try to concentrate on staying fit for the next game.

"I thought I bowled well against Sri Lanka. I'm not sure it's the best I've ever bowled but I felt in really good form and I just wanted to build on it, but the injury meant it wasn't possible.

"Fitness wise I keep working hard. My practice over the years has gone from searching for perfection to just doing as little as possible. The bare minimum. But when I do practise I try to make sure it's absolute quality rather than going through the motions. If I don't practise much I make sure what I do do is to the highest quality possible."

Anderson was quick to defend the selector's decision to leave him out of the first Test against Pakistan: "Looking back, without having had any game time before that first Test, it was probably wise to get some overs under my belt before I came back into the Test side,

"I think it was probably the right decision.

"There was some rustiness in Manchester. I bowled 20-odd overs at Southport after four weeks out of the game, and then at Lord's with the weather before the game I only bowled six overs outside so there was a bit of rustiness. But now I've got that match practice under my belt hopefully I can build on that and my speeds go up rather than down. The age I'm at, four or five weeks without bowling shouldn't make me lose my form that much."

The veteran responded to the suggestion that Chris Woakes has been looking to emulate him, by insisting they are very different bowlers: "Chris has a lot of skills, but I don't see us as similar bowlers,

"I don't know why. He's got more pace, he's got a lovely action, that's what he's got going for him, a nice repetitive action that will help him for the rest of his career. I'm not forcing myself upon him.

"As a group of bowlers we are talking to each other all the time. We are trying in the nets to give each other bits of information that are going to be useful whether it's on the opposition, tactics or specifics in skills and we all learn from each other.

"I learn from Chris Woakes, I've learnt from Steven Finn and Stuart Broad, we all pass information round to each other, it's a really open forum and I think that's how it should be. I think that's how teams get better."