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Paceman Anderson relishing ‘incredible’ England revival

London (AFP) – England fast bowler James Anderson says the team’s “incredible” Test revival has left him eager to return to the fray in the upcoming series against South Africa.

New Test captain Ben Stokes and red-ball coach Brendon McCullum have revitalised the side with their attacking philosophy since taking charge earlier in the English season.

England beat Test world champions New Zealand in all three matches of their series before chasing down a huge target to beat India in early July in a match that was postponed last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

England return to action on Wednesday at Lord’s in the first Test against South Africa and Anderson cannot wait to resume international duty with such a buoyant squad.

“I’ve been itching to get back in the dressing room to be honest,” said the 40-year-old.

“Those four Tests were incredible. Obviously what we did on the field was great, but the energy in the dressing room was brilliant.

“I felt as happy as I have done in an England dressing room for a number of years, so the last five weeks I’ve just been itching to get back in there.”

England’s attacking approach has been lauded by the players but there have been suggestions such an ultra-aggressive style is unlikely to be a reliable long-term strategy.

But Anderson, England’s record Test wicket-taker, is confident that sticking with a positive mindset will prove the right thing for the team.

“I don’t think it has to come unstuck at all,” he said.

“If we keep working hard at what we’re doing we now know we’ve got the ability to chase anything down and we’ve got the ability to take wickets in any conditions.

“There may be times when we can’t go hell for leather with the bat and maybe we have to soak up a bit of pressure at times and just be smart about when we put pressure back on the opposition.

“I think if we add that into our already entertaining mindset and be proactive and aggressive in the nature we play I think we can keep doing it.”

© 2022 AFP

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