Anderson blames wicket for England batting failure

England’s forgotten pacer James Anderson on Tuesday blamed the wicket as his team’s batsmen slumped for a second time in their tour opener in Pakistan.

“The guys look in top nick in the nets. I know it’s different in the middle but the conditions in the middle are also lot different to the nets. I won’t read too much into it,” said Anderson, who took 3-50 against the Pakistan Cricket Board Patron’s XI to stake a claim for a Test place.

“It’s early part of the tour… we had five, six weeks off, so it’s a matter of switching on.
Obviously losing wickets is a disappointment, but the practice wickets are totally different to the centre wicket we have got here.”

Less than two months after winning the Ashes against Australia for the first time in 18 years, England’s batsmen flopped and struggled to 39 for six in their second innings on day two of the three-day tie at Pindi stadium.

The tourists are just 84 runs ahead with unbeaten Paul Collingwood (1) and Ian Bell (0) at the crease while first innings centurion Marcus Trescothick is yet to bat.

Anderson, who is fighting for the place of the injured Simon Jones, was joined by Liam Plunkett and Shaun Udal to help England dismiss the Patron’s XI for 211—taking a lead of 45.

England had declared their first innings at their overnight score of 256-9.

Anderson, who played the last of 12 Tests in January and was not part of England’s summer triumph, has Plunkett as his main rival for the first Test starting at Multan from November 12.

Plunkett chipped in with 3-41 while Udal took 3-36.

“The ball is nipping back through the gates. The guys want to move on and try to win in the subcontinent. That’s the big challenge and we are up to it,” said Anderson. - AFP

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