James Anderson admitted Australia captain Steve Smith was the difference between the two sides in the first Test of the ongoing Ashes. “He was the difference between the two teams. That first innings lead would’ve been huge for us,” he said.
England tried numerous tactics, including a barrage of short pitch deliveries somewhat akin to bodyline bowling. Smith, who is the number one ranked Test batsman in the world, hardly budged and remain unbeaten on 141 in Australia’s innings. It was one that canceled out what was otherwise a good performance by the England bowlers. “Obviously, the plans to him, I wouldn’t say they didn’t work, but we didn’t get him out, so they worked to an extent,” said Anderson “We dried his runs up and made him work really hard for his hundred but obviously we want to get him out.”
Anderson is hopeful that Adelaide will provide conditions in their favour. It is where the second Test will be played from December 2. He said that getting Smith in the day-night Test would be crucial. “Hopefully more pace in the wicket might help us, but we’ve just got to be as relentless as we possibly can to someone like that,” he added. “So, getting him out here will be crucial.”
England were outdone by Colin Bancroft and David Warner in the end as the two managed to chase down the target set by the visitors. “We know the dangers of David Warner at the top of the innings as well, so we’ve got to keep working hard at getting those guys out because we know how pivotal they are in their line-up,”
“The encouraging thing for us is we came up with plans to all their batsmen before the series started and probably 70 percent of them worked,” he said. “For us that’s encouraging, we can build on that. But there’s still that small matter of someone getting 140 which we need to deal with.