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Champions Trophy: James Anderson's heroics give Australia cause for concern

England bowler breaks tourists' resistance to serve notice of his intentions for summer

On a searingly hot Sunday afternoon in Adelaide a decade ago a 20-year-old rookie fast bowler from Burnley made the ball talk. James Anderson bowled 10 straight overs for 12 runs, defying the oppressive heat, and announced himself on the grand stage.

He had been drafted into England's beleaguered touring party a month earlier and almost immediately claimed Adam Gilchrist as his first international wicket by clean bowling him. Not immediately enough perhaps since Gilchrist had made 124 at the time.

But it was in Adelaide that all observers fortunate to be present knew that England had something special, which a loss by six wickets did nothing to diminish. Anderson was accurate, controlled and spellbinding.

The Australian batsmen whom he subjugated at Edgbaston on Saturday, becoming England's leading one-day wicket-taker along the way, were of a rather lesser vintage than their forebears of 2003. But Anderson's performance in the rip-roaringly successful opening match of England's campaign in the Champions Trophy was magisterial.

He found a little conventional swing and when the white ball from the Pavilion End began to reverse swing he was in utter control. The ball was at his command and the Australians were at his mercy. In both cases it may not be for the last time this summer.

Anderson's 3 for 30 from 10 overs meant that he finished the match with a total of 237 One-Day International wickets, three ahead of the previous record set by Darren Gough in 2006. It was compelling stuff.

This bowling spell was of such authority that it gave England a crucial and substantial early win in the tournament, by 48 runs, and told Australia exactly what they are about to be confronted with in the coming months.

"It's good fun breaking records, and I'm delighted with this one," said Anderson. "But more importantly we're delighted to get off to a winning start in this tournament.

"Although it's a bit different to reaching 300 Test wickets last month, it still means a lot because I started my international career in one-day cricket and I'm very happy with what I've achieved since then."

Things have changed a lot since Adelaide. Anderson has revamped his action and then gone back to the one which started it all. Not only has he taken more ODI wickets than any other England bowler, he has also amassed more international wickets – across Test, ODI and Twenty20 formats.

Australia have changed above all. They bowled adequately enough on Saturday in restricting England to 269 for 6, a total that should have been above 300 given the start.

Opinions differ on whether England could have been more purposeful. If there seemed to be a lack of vigour after the brisk start to their innings, Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott, who shared a partnership of 111, did exactly what they have always done.

Bell scored at a rate slightly higher than in his overall career, Trott fractionally lower. The point is England know what they are getting and it follows that we must presume they also know what they are doing.

Bell, man of the match for his 91, should have gone on but his dismissal by James Faulkner allowed the sluggers to make their entry.

This will be England's policy, to load the back of their innings based on two aims. One is for their top-order batsmen to repel the two white balls, keeping wickets in hand and amassing runs later. The second is for their bowlers to take advantage of the two balls by making inroads. It could work.

Anderson said: "In such a short tournament like the Champions Trophy, you have to hit the ground running, and that's what we've done. That was England back to near our best in one-day cricket."

Kevin Pietersen confirmed via Twitter yesterday that he would not be making his return to cricket in Surrey's Championship match at Arundel this week. As has always been intended, he will play his first match for three months after recovering from a sore knee in Leeds next week.


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Edgbaston scoreboard

ICC Champions Trophy, Group A match: England (2pts) beat Australia by 48 runs

England won toss


Runs 6s 4s Bls Min

*A N Cook c Wade b Watson 30 0 3 42 52

I R Bell b Faulkner 91 0 7 115 172

I J L Trott c Wade b Starc 43 0 1 56 98

J E Root c Bailey b McKay 12 0 1 17 21

E J G Morgan b McKay 8 0 0 12 22

R S Bopara not out 46 1 3 37 50

†J C Buttler b Faulkner 1 0 0 2 1

T T Bresnan not out 19 0 2 20 26

Extras (lb12 w6 nb1) 19

Total(for 6, 50 overs) 269

Fall 1-57, 2-168, 3-189, 4-189, 5-212, 6-213.

Did not bat S C J Broad, J C Tredwell, J M Anderson.

Bowling M A Starc 10-0-75-1, M G Johnson 8-0-44-0, C J McKay 10-0-38-2, S R Watson 7-0-26-1, J P Faulkner 10-0-48-2, A C Voges 3-0-13-0, M R Marsh 2-0-13-0.


Runs 6s 4s Bls Min

D A Warner c Buttler b Broad 9 0 1 21 24

S R Watson c Cook b Bresnan 24 0 1 40 64

P J Hughes lbw b Root 30 0 3 55 78

*G J Bailey c Root b Tredwell 55 0 2 69 105

A C Voges b Bresnan 15 0 1 23 27

M R Marsh c Morgan b Anderson 5 0 1 12 14

†M S Wade c Buttler b Anderson 1 0 0 4 5

J P Faulkner not out 54 1 5 42 67

M G Johnson c Morgan b Bopara 8 0 0 10 18

M A Starc b Anderson 5 0 0 8 7

C J McKay not out 7 0 0 17 21

Extras (lb6 w1 nb1) 8

Total(for 9, 50 overs) 221

Fall 1-17, 2-47, 3-94, 4-127, 5-134, 6-136, 7-151, 8-175, 9-190.

Bowling J M Anderson 10-0-30-3, S C J Broad 10-2-35-1, T T Bresnan 10-1-45-2, J C Tredwell 10-1-51-1, J E Root 5-0-20-1, R S Bopara 5-0-34-1.

Umpires H D P K Dharmasena (S Lanka) and M Erasmus (SA).