England seamer James Anderson says his side now only know one way to play and will not deviate from their attacking brand of cricket even if they are under pressure in the three test series against South Africa that starts at Lord’s on Wednesday. New coach Brendon McCullum and captain Ben Stokes have orchestrated four thrilling test wins in a row this summer, chasing over 275 in the fourth innings on each occasion.
Those wins over New Zealand and India have come via their new ‘Bazball’ style of relentlessly attacking with bat and ball, even when the side is seemingly in trouble. The switch in fortunes comes after England had won just once in their previous 17 tests before the new leadership group took over.
“At the minute, Ben and Brendon have an idea of how they want us to play our cricket so we are buying into that and trying to play our way and we are absolutely loving doing it,” Anderson told reporters on Monday. “There might be times when we do come unstuck and moments when things don’t go our way, but I think the fact that we are buying into this and enjoying doing it is exciting for the whole group.”
Anderson, who is England’s all-time leading test wicket-taker with 657, turned 40 last month, but believes he still has plenty to offer the team. “I don’t feel old or like I’m slowing down or anything,” he said. “The last few weeks I’ve been working hard at training, trying to work on my bowling again and keep that ticking over.
“The last couple of days I’ve felt in great rhythm and hopefully I can show that on the field.” England will have the chance to climb the ICC Test Championship ladder from their current seventh position as they host table-topping South Africa, who have a number of injury concerns and a relatively inexperienced top six batting line-up that Anderson will be keen to get stuck into.