CRICKET : James Anderson is confident he can withstand any opposition attempts to destabilise him as leader of England’s attack.
James Anderson is confident he can withstand any opposition attempts to destabilise him as leader of England’s attack.
Pace spearhead Anderson is aware of remarks about his potential mental fragility – dating back to Justin Langer’s infamous leaked dossier on England’s players during last summer’s Ashes. But after taking three wickets – albeit at the cost of 60 runs – as England went 1-0 up at Centurion with three matches to play in the one-day series, Anderson is losing no sleep over home tactics.
Asked whether he worries about the home batsmen trying to ruffle his state of mind, he said: “I like the fact that they’re saying they feel the need to get under my skin to affect me. They can try if they want. Being the leader of the attack, they may want to target me a bit more.”
He added: “Maybe they think if they can get to me they can get to the rest of the bowlers.
“But I don’t really get affected by stuff like that. I think it’s something I can deal with.
“I don’t think it will happen.”
Anderson, preparing to return in Friday’s day-nighter at Newlands to the scene of his man-of-the-match performance against Pakistan in the 2003 World Cup, is unfazed too by his unquestioned standing as England’s main man with the ball.
“I see myself as the leader of the attack,” he confirms.
“I enjoy the responsibility of it and I’ve got the most caps among the bowling unit.
“I enjoy fielding at mid-off, so I can chat to the bowler and offer ideas or advice if I feel it’s necessary. It’s good to be able to chat to other people and help them out.”