James Anderson, the England pacer, has said his team have “got to be on top form” to challenge a motivated Windies’ ahead of the three-Test series in the Caribbean.
“Whenever we come here, you get the feeling that West Indies really want to beat England,” Anderson told reporters on Sunday, January 20. “It’s something that’s been ingrained in them, especially in the past when England have suffered heavy defeats.
“You can see it in the players’ eyes when you play against them and that means we’ve got to be on top form to be able to try and challenge them. We showed in Sri Lanka we can adapt to any conditions. Our batters batted better than they did and our spinners out-bowled theirs. We’ve got to do the same again, man for man we’ve got to outplay them. We know we’ve got the talent to do it.”
Anderson featured in the first of two warm-up games against Cricket West Indies President’s XI in Barbados, where he returned 4/12 with the ball. The seamer said that the movement he could extract from the Dukes ball has given him a “glimmer of hope” ahead of the Test series.
“The Dukes ball has been moving around a bit and swung for quite a considerable amount of time throughout the game, so that’s encouragement,” he explained. “At least there’s a glimmer of hope for us seam bowlers. We’re hoping for a little bit – just a little bit – through the air and it keeps you interested for the game.
“It feels like you can make an impact on the game. The minute you come out here and there’s that extra encouragement, it just makes you excited to bowl and look forward to playing, so hopefully, that’s going to stay with us for the rest of the trip.”
The first of three Tests between England and the Windies kicks off in Barbados from January 23.