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.


Pakistan collapse to gift first Test to New Zealand in Abu Dhabi

Updated 19 November 2018
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Pakistan collapse to gift first Test to New Zealand in Abu Dhabi

  • Hosts see wickets tumble as they collapse from from 130 for three to 171 all out.
  • Black Caps win by four runs — the fifth smallest win in Test history.

ABU DHABI: Debutant spinner Ajaz Patel took five wickets to lead a never-say-die approach from New Zealand bowlers as they pulled off a thrilling four-run win over an indisciplined Pakistan in the first Test in Abu Dhabi on Monday.
Defending a modest 176-run target, New Zealand bowlers led by Patel (five for 59), fast bowler Neil Wagner (two for 27) and Ish Sodhi (two for 37) bowled out Pakistan for 171 on a drama-packed fourth day at Sheikh Zayed Stadium.
It is the fifth smallest win in terms of runs in Test cricket’s history and gives New Zealand a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
Azhar Ali fought a lone battle for Pakistan with 65 and was the last man out when he was trapped leg-before wicket by Patel. He reviewed Bruce Oxenford’s decision but the television replays upheld the decision.
Resuming on 37 without loss, Pakistan began the day as favorites to chase down the 176 they needed for victory although New Zealand will have taken some hope from Pakistan’s failure at the same ground last year to chase 136 against Sri Lanka.
Kiwi spinners Patel and Ish Sodhi opened the bowling and immediately caused problems as Pakistan lost three wickets in the first six overs.
Imam-ul-Haq was trapped leg-before for 27 to a full length ball by left-arm spinner Patel in the fifth over. In the sixth, Sodhi had Mohammad Hafeez caught in the covers and then three balls later held on to a return catch low to his left as Haris Sohail drove a full toss back at him.
Pakistani nerves were eased by the sight of Azhar and Asad Shafiq carefully rebuilding the innings with a fourth wicket partnership of 82.
Shafiq made a cultured 45, becoming the 11th Pakistani to reach 4,000 runs in Test cricket, but his dismissal in the last over before lunch, edging Neil Wagner to wicketkeeper BJ Watling, changed the game as Pakistan lost their final seven wickets for just 41.
After lunch, Babar Azam ran himself out for 13, the guilty party in a mix-up with Azhar and skipper Sarfraz Ahmed fell for a second time sweeping Patel, this time gloving the ball to Watling.
Bilal Asif tried to slog a straight ball from Patel and was bowled leaving Pakistan 154 for seven, still 22 runs short of victory.
The earlier measure at the crease had been replaced by chaos. In the next over Wagner had Yasir Shah caught in the slips and then Hasan Ali attempted a slog-sweep off Patel, picking out substitute fielder Tim Southee on the midwicket boundary.
Azhar then tried to inch Pakistan across the line, farming the strike from Mohammad Abbas.
But with five runs still needed to win Patel found the delivery to win the match for New Zealand.
The second Test starts in Dubai from Saturday while the third and final, again in Abu Dhabi from Dec. 3.