Jimmy Anderson: England old guard need to help captain Cook

 

Cricket Correspondent

These are challenging, exciting and worrying times for England. Being under new management is a cause for both optimism and uncertainty. The former was outstripping the latter until the heavy defeat against Sri Lanka on Sunday, which has left everybody involved in a perplexed state.

Jimmy Anderson, the team’s veteran bowler who has been around for 12 years, emphasised yesterday that the influence of senior players and their advice to the captain, Alastair Cook, were crucial elements. Somewhere along the way, he conceded, it had stopped happening.

“I don’t think over the winter that senior players helped as much as they could with taking pressure off Cooky,” said Anderson at Old Trafford yesterday before the third match of five in the one-day international series. “A captain’s job is difficult and he needs his senior players around him to share the burden.”

Cook probably needs all the help going because conversely he is also being expected to shoulder more of the burden for team affairs under the regime of Peter Moores. The intention is that it will be Cook’s team, which happens to be coached by Moores.

In these circumstances it was unfortunate that Cook should miss a match so early in the piece as he did at Chester-le-Street on Sunday, when England were all out for 99 and lost by 157 runs. England need him at present as both runscorer and leader. He is expected to return today.

Anderson, who has played 79 Tests with Cook for England, said: “I think he’s the sort of guy that looks to improve constantly, whether it’s with his bat or with the captaincy, and I think that’s something that we’ll definitely see over the next few months. He’s going to be given a lot of responsibility, I think, on and off the field and I’m sure he’ll thrive on that.”

It may all not mean much. If England start to win again it hardly matters who is talking to whom. But finding a way to win is connected, it seems, to the establishment of a different philosophy. Cook, Anderson, Ian Bell and Stuart Broad, when he returns, are the elder statesmen of the team. With the World Cup next March and two home Test series against subcontinental opponents and the Ashes next summer, there is minimal latitude.

“If we want to win the World Cup, we’re going to have to start playing well quickly,” said Anderson. “I think the senior players have got a huge role to play. As a captain, it can’t always be his job to discipline people or think of tactics or make bowling changes.

“It’s everyone’s job to be thinking about the game, how the team can improve and be offering that advice. It doesn’t always have to come from the captain. That’s where the senior players come in. When we’ve done well in the past is when we’ve had five or six guys who can stand up in the dressing room and give feedback, that shares the burden and takes a bit of pressure off the captain.

“When you’re in Australia and you get on to a bit of a down slope, you can get a little bit insular I guess, start worrying about your own game perhaps. It’s a real chance for us now, we’ve got a new coach and some new faces around, we can really start to rebuild this team.”

If England continue where they left off on Sunday  this line of thought could go belly up pretty soon. Sri Lanka, who have lost only one of their 11 ODIs this year, are buoyant after Sunday’s crushing victory, a state that was enhanced when they saw the pitch at Old Trafford yesterday.

“It looks like a subcontinental pitch,” said their captain Angelo Mathews. “We played some positive cricket in Durham and that’s the way we’ve got to go against the English team. It was a great victory but we’ve got to stay level-headed at the same time as playing positive, aggressive cricket.”

Anderson, who is famously grumpy, which he cleverly plays up to, appears to have been given a fresh lease of life by the changes at the top and in his bowling partners.

“There’s some new guys there that I’m getting used to playing with and talking to,” he said. “They’ve got fresh ideas and things that could help me as well as me helping them. So it’s an exciting time. Obviously,we didn’t play well but there’s a real strong feeling that we can be successful as a team.

“That’s what we’ve worked on the last couple of days, playing to our strengths and being positive about our cricket because maybe that’s something we didn’t do the other day, we were a little bit tentative and, hopefully, we can go out tomorrow and be very very positive.”

Both sides then clearly intend to be positive. What price a high-scoring nerve-shredder? The summer and the series need it.

Old Trafford - Third ODI details

Probable teams:

England

A N Cook (capt), I R Bell,  G S Ballance, J E Root,  E J G Morgan, R S Bopara,  J C Buttler (wk), C J Jordan,  J C Tredwell, JM Anderson,  H F Gurney.

Sri Lanka

H R D L Thirimanne, T M Dilshan, K C Sangakkara (wk), D P M D Jayawardene, A D Mathews (capt), S M A Priyanjan, L D Chandimal, K M D N Kulasekara, S M S M Senanayake, K T G D Prasad, L M Malinga.

Pitch report

Looks dry and the surface between these sides here three years ago was a slow turner. But there has been bounce this year, which should nominally favour England.

TV

Sky Sports 2, 1.30-10pm

Weather

Rain likely throughout the afternoon. Max temp: 13C

Arts and Entertainment
arts + entsWith one of the best comic roles around, it's no wonder she rarely bothers with films
News
people
News
i100
News
Davis says: 'My career has been about filling a niche - there were fewer short actors and fewer roles – but now I'm being offered all kinds of things'
PeopleWarwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
A Russian hunter at the Medved bear-hunting lodge in Siberia
Save the tigerWildlife charities turn to those who kill animals to help save them
Sport
Frank Lampard will pass Billy Wright and equal Bobby Charton’s caps tally of 106 caps against
sportFormer Chelsea midfielder in Etihad stopgap before New York contract
News
i100
Sport
Usain Bolt of Jamaica smiles and shakes hands with a competitor after Jamaica won their first heat in the men's 4x100m relay
sport
News
Chancellor George Osborne, along with the Prime Minister, have been 'complacently claiming the economy is now fixed', according to shadow Chancellor Ed Balls
i100... which is awkward, because he is their boss, after all
Arts and Entertainment
The first film introduced Daniel Radcliffe to our screens, pictured here as he prepares to board the train to Hogwarts for the first time.
booksHow reading Harry Potter helps children grow up to be gay-friendly
Life and Style
A small bag of the drug Ecstasy
Health
News
i100
Life and Style
Floral-print swim shorts, £26, by Topman, topman.com; sunglasses, £215, by Paul Smith, mpaulsmith.co.uk
FashionBag yourself the perfect pair
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Save the Tiger: Meet the hunters tasked with protecting Russia's rare Amur tiger

Hunters protect Russia's rare Amur tiger

In an unusual move, wildlife charities have enlisted those who kill animals to help save them. Oliver Poole travels to Siberia to investigate
Transfers: How has your club fared in summer sales?

How has your club fared in summer sales?

Who have bagged the bargain buys and who have landed the giant turkeys
Warwick Davis: The British actor on Ricky Gervais, how the Harry Potter set became his office, and why he'd like to play a spy

'I'm a realist; I know how hard this business is'

Warwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
The best swim shorts for men: Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer

The best swim shorts for men

Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer
Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

Meet the couple blamed for bringing Lucifer into local politics
Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup