Image courtesy of: The Guardian
“Australia in general can be quite an intimidating place”
England pace bowler James Anderson has come up with a simple, yet effective, plan to silence the Australians during the national team’s upcoming tour of the Land Down Under next month.
Australia are infamous for using sledging as a means to intimidate or pressurise their opposition, but Anderson noted that England would be having none of it.
“The best way to shut them up is to bowl them out,” Anderson said. “Australia in general can be quite an intimidating place. They’re very passionate, very vocal as well.
“Thankfully we’ve got a lot of experience in the team, people who have played there before in good times and bad times.”
During the 2006-07 Ashes series, where England were whitewashed 5-0 in Australia, Anderson revealed that the Australians even sledged them off the field.
“Certainly we felt that in 2006, and the wives and girlfriends felt it as well,” he said. “When we were out at Christmas time and walking down the street we got abuse.
“But I think we dealt with it better in 2010, we tried to interact more with the public and actually embrace the culture, whereas in 2006 we were quite guarded and tried to stay in our little bubble and I thought we did it slightly wrong.
“I remember a situation [on the last tour] where we played golf, and a couple of guys duffed it on the first tee. Some people in the clubhouse were having a laugh, saying, ‘Your cricket’s the same’. But rather than getting your head down and rushing off, we tried to have a bit of banter.
“It’s not all horrible abuse, some of it is quite light-hearted and meant in the right way so we actually enjoyed that.”
England will be entering hostile territory next week and Anderson is expecting to be greeted by a large number of Australian fans, all of whom will be licking their lips at the chance to hurl some abuse, especially towards pace bowler Stuart Broad, who refused to walk when clearly edging a delivery to the slips during the first Ashes Test at Trent Bridge.
As a result, Australia coach Darren Lehmann launched an astonishing blitz attack on Broad during the fifth and final Test at The Oval as he called on the Australian public to get “stuck into him”.
Lehmann also went as far as saying “I hope he cries and he goes home”.
However, Anderson believes most of the Australian fans will not take Lehmann’s rant seriously.
“In 2006 it was very apparent that they weren’t our greatest fans, so I don’t think that whatever’s happened will make that any worse,” he said. “As for Broady, he copped quite a lot in 2010-11, and dealt with it brilliantly until he got injured.”
The one area in which Anderson does expect some real hostility and harsh criticism is in the Australian media, who will be keeping a eye on everything England do while on tour.
Just three years ago, the Australian media criticised their own national selectors non-stop after left-arm spinner Michael Beer was included in the Ashes squad.
As a result, all the limelight was taken off England, but Anderson does not expect the same thing to happen this time round.
“At the start of that series Australia weren’t sure of their strongest team,” Anderson said. “Whereas now they’re a bit more settled, so I imagine the focus will probably be more on Pommie bashing this time. We will have to prepare ourselves for that.”