James Anderson can go on until he is 40, says England coach Trevor Bayliss

At the age of 36 England pace ace James Anderson just keeps getting better and better. (AFP)
Updated 13 August 2018
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James Anderson can go on until he is 40, says England coach Trevor Bayliss

England’s all-time leading Test wicket-taker James Anderson may be 36, but coach Trevor Bayliss believes he’s still got several years of international cricket left in him.
Swing bowler Anderson made the most of helpful conditions with a match haul of nine for 43 as England overwhelmed India by an innings and 159 runs in the second Test at Lord’s on Sunday.
In the process, he became the first bowler to take 100 Test wickets at Lord’s and took his career tally to 553 — just 10 shy of Australia great Glenn McGrath’s record of 563 for the most taken by any pace bowler in Test cricket.
Anderson is also currently top of the International Cricket Council’s Test bowling rankings.
“I don’t think there’s any age — he keeps surprising everyone,” said Bayliss.
“As long as he keeps his body fit there’s no reason why he can’t go on for three or four years,” he added of Anderson, who has been managing a shoulder injury.
“A lot of other bowlers do start to drop off mid-30s or so. It’s only the very, very best that are able to keep it going.
“I think he’s showing that he is the very, very best.”
Anderson has an even better record at Trent Bridge, where the third Test starts on Saturday with England looking for another win that would give them an unbeatable 3-0 lead in the five-match series.
“He’s not just good when the conditions suit him, but in these conditions he’s the best in the world,” Bayliss said.
“It’s a test for any batsman in the world to try to face him in these conditions.”
Even India captain Virat Kohli, who made 200 runs off his own bat including a superb century in England’s narrow 31-run win in the first Test at Edgbaston, struggled at Lord’s.
Bayliss said adjusting to the local environment was a problem for all touring teams.
“When the ball is swinging around they (India) have some difficulties, as when it’s spinning and we go to the subcontinent,” the Australian explained.
“They have some extremely good players, so our job is to try and stay on top.”
England were without Ben Stokes at Lord’s because of his ongoing trial for affray.
But fellow pace-bowling all-rounder Chris Woakes turned in a man-of-the-match display in his absence, returning from injury to score a maiden Test century and take four wickets as well.
His runs, mainly made during a sixth-wicket stand of 189 with Jonny Bairstow, helped England recover from 131 for five to 396 for seven declared.
“He has done a lot of hard yards, not just with the ball but with the bat over the last few years too,” Bayliss said of Woakes.
“He’s a lovely bloke, and one of those guys who everyone genuinely wants to do well, so to see him go out there and do so well when we thought we were in a bit of trouble, to go and play the way he did with Jonny, was fantastic.”
England named an unchanged squad on Monday, with Stokes again omitted, although the selectors said they would assess his position at the end of the trial.
Bayliss, speaking before the squad announcement, said England’s victory at Lord’s proved they were not being distracted by the case.
“The guys are able to put anything off-field out of their mind and concentrate on what they’re doing, and this was the perfect example,” he said.


Man City humbled in 2-1 loss to Lyon in Champions League

City were humbled by French side Lyon in Manchester. (Reuters)
Updated 20 September 2018
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Man City humbled in 2-1 loss to Lyon in Champions League

  • City’s players were humbled 2-1 by Lyon in a sloppy and apathetic display at the start of their European campaign

MANCHESTER, England: If Manchester City wants to finally win a first Champions League title, it will have to start taking the competition a bit more seriously — on and off the field.
Surrounded by swathes of empty seats in the Etihad Stadium, City’s players were humbled 2-1 by Lyon in a sloppy and apathetic display at the start of their European campaign on Wednesday.
Banned from the touchline and unable to communicate with the bench, City manager Pep Guardiola did fill one seat in the stands and he saw his Premier League champions easily picked apart by the French visitors.
“We felt under threat every time we lost the ball and sometimes that brings the confidence a little bit lower,” said City assistant manager Mikel Arteta, who was in charge on the bench in Guardiola’s absence.
Errors by midfielder Fernandinho led to both Lyon goals, typifying how careless City was against a team that finished third in the French league last season and was even held to a draw at the weekend by 10-man Caen.
When a pass by the Brazilian midfielder was intercepted around the halfway line, Lyon charged forward. Nabil Fekir sent in a cross from the left that evaded Fabian Delph’s swinging legs, allowing Maxwel Cornet to slot it home in the 26th minute. Delph held his head in his hands as the consequences of his mistake became clear.
City’s troubles deepened when Fernandinho was caught in possession again. Memphis Depay set Fekir on a run and the forward doubled Lyon’s lead in the 43rd by striking through the legs of John Stones.
“It was a difficult game,” said Depay, who struggled to make an impact at Manchester United before leaving after two seasons in 2017. “But when we had the ball we tried to play and when we won the ball we tried to counterattack.”
Perhaps the only reason for City to feel aggrieved in the first half was Gabriel Jesus being denied a penalty when he was tripped by former Manchester United defender Rafael da Silva just before Depay scored.
“To concede two goals like we did is very frustrating,” Stones said. “We came in at halftime a bit deflated I think. But we picked ourselves up and we came out second half fighting and played a better second half.”
But the improvement wasn’t sufficient.
City pulled one back in the 67th when Bernardo Silva scored from substitute Leroy Sane’s cutback. But the attacking threat was too patchy from a City side that won the Premier League with a record 100 points only four months ago, and are widely seen as one of the big favorites in this season’s Champions League.
“I suffered as I was scared they’d score a second goal,” Lyon coach Bruno Genesio said. “We would have taken 2-2 before the match but given the way the game went we’d have been disappointed not to leave with the three points.”
With Hoffenheim and Shakhtar Donetsk also in Group F, City appeared to have one of the kinder draws but is now playing catch-up.
Celebrating a decade under Abu Dhabi ownership, which allowed City to assemble a squad for more than $1 billion, the Champions League is the one big prize the club has yet to win.
But City fans still have a fraught relationship with Europe’s premier competition.