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MCG centre-stage in cricket’s oldest rivalry
Posted by :Team Aman newsPosted date : February 14, 2015In SPORTSComments Off on MCG centre-stage in cricket’s oldest rivalry
England’s swing king, James Anderson, has the ability to swing the ball both ways with no apparent change in action. PHOTO: AFP
England’s swing king James Anderson began his international career as a 20-year-old at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) and will now start out on his fourth World Cup campaign at the same venue on Saturday.
Anderson, who is just four short of beating Ian Botham’s England Test record of 383 wickets, will be his team’s star man as they set out against the odds to land their first World Cup title.
Much depends on the 32-year-old Lancastrian to inspire his country with his masterful swing bowling and end their one-day torment against Australia.
Anderson confessed to being grateful of just playing for his country back in 2002 when he appeared for England for the first time at the MCG.
“The 20-year-old version of me was just happy to be there and enjoying the occasion,” he recalled on Friday. “I guess the abuse at the time was a bit of a shock, and on Saturday it won’t be. I know now that you just have to enjoy occasions like these, to play at the MCG in front of a full house against Australia in a World Cup is something every player dreams of and we are all so excited about tomorrow.”
While England are not among the pundits’ main contenders to win the World Cup, whose final will also be at the MCG on March 29, Anderson remains the eternal optimist that England can indeed land the big one this time around.
“Obviously, the last few World Cups have been very unsuccessful from our point of view, but this time there is a real difference in the belief that we’ve got,” he said. “I think there is a genuine belief that we can surprise a few teams. We feel confident that we can beat anyone if we play our best.”
Anderson realises the huge responsibility he carries for England in the tournament. “My job is to start well with the new ball, quite often bowl in the power play and at the death as well,” he said. “In the past three weeks, I’ve bowled reasonably well up front, got wickets and kept the runs down, but the game can turn really quickly. You have to make the most of being in form and getting the little rubs of the green.”
Anderson has the ability to swing the new ball both ways with no apparent change in action and along with his impeccable control against both right and left-handers, it makes him a handful, especially in favourable conditions.
Bailey unfazed by losing captaincy, team place to Clarke
George Bailey, captain for the side in the first match, is in the unique position of either leading the Australia side when Michael Clarke is not fit or not even being in it when the skipper return.
However, he says he is comfortable with losing the captaincy and his place in the Australian team when Michael Clarke is ready to return to lead the side once again.
Bailey will take charge in Clarke’s absence for Saturday’s tournament glitzy curtain-raiser against England before a 90,000 full house.
Clarke was ruled out of his country’s World Cup opener as he battles to fully shake off his hamstring problems but is expected to feature in Australia’s second game against Bangladesh in Brisbane on February 21.
“I don’t think I will [hold my place], but that’s fine,” said Bailey. “I think it’s great that he’s on track. Certainly from the initial time of his injury, I think he’s done a remarkable job to get back in time.”
Published in The Express Tribune, February 14th, 2015.
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