Ashes winner Simon Jones insists James Anderson will rip through the Australian batting line up at Trent Bridge this week, regardless of whether or not the ball swings.
Burnley Express Anderson will lead the England bowling attack in to Ashes battle this morning and will be the man Michael Clarke and co fear as he continues to close in on Sir Ian Botham’s all-time record of 383 Test wickets in a Three Lions shirt.
Jones knows Anderson well having battled with him for the final seam bowler spot in the 2005 Ashes series and ultimately pipped the 30-year-old to a place in the side as history was made under Michael Vaughan’s leadership.
Jones succumbed to injury in the fourth Test in 2005, having taken 5-44 in the first innings, and has never featured for England again while in contrast Anderson continues to go from strength to strength and has been as high as second in the ICC Test bowling rankings.
And while Australian fans – and batsman – may be clinging to the fact that the weather is set fair for the next five days potentially taking swing out of the equation, Jones is adamant Anderson has all the weapons in his armoury to win the opening Test for England.
“Jimmy would prefer the weather to be overcast but the way he swings the ball I don’t think he will be too worried about it too much,” said Jones, speaking in his role as an ambassador for the LV=County Championship Breakthrough Player Award.
“If he swings it, he swings it but what Australia needs to know is he has got all the skills and will be the spearhead for the English attack this summer.
“I wish him well. He has worked as hard as anyone to get where he is. I loved playing with him. We were always vying for the same place.
“Unfortunately for him I got the spot a lot of the time back then but he has become a great bowler.
“He has just got to go and express himself and take the game by the scruff of the neck. “That’s his job. There will be pressure but he has played 70, 80 odd test matches and has got the experience behind him to deal with all that expectation and cause plenty of damage.”
Anderson will be joined by Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann as England’s three main bowlers, with one of Tim Bresnan, Steven Fin and Graham Onions completing a four-man attack.
And with Anderson at the helm, Jones is in no doubt which side will begin the series with the most dangerous bowling unit.
“I think both bowling attacks are good but England have the edge,” added Jones, whose final appearance for England was at this week’s venue.
“I like the fact that they are playing the first test at Trent Bridge. Normally it’s at Lord’s which tends to be a bit of a happy hunting ground for the Aussies so its nice to change it up a bit. “The ball generally swings quite a lot at Trent Bridge so with Jimmy leading the way with the other bowlers, hopefully it will play into England’s hands.
Simon Jones was speaking on behalf of County Championship title sponsors LV=. To Vote for your LV=County Championship Breakthrough Player, visit www.LV.com/cricket
Picture courtesy of Nic_r, with thanks.