Ashes 2013-14: James Anderson says sledging is a skill

(BBC) James Anderson says sledging is a skill and a key factor in him becoming one of England’s leading bowlers.

In the current Ashes series, Jonathan Trott left the tour with a stress-related illness and Michael Clarke was fined for insulting Anderson.

But Anderson, who has 331 Test wickets, wrote in his Mail on Sunday column:  “It heightens my concentration.

“Certainly in the past few years I’ve developed it as a skill and it has helped me take the wickets I have.”

Australia captain Clarke was penalised 20% of his match fee after telling Anderson to prepare for a broken arm from left-arm paceman Mitchell Johnson, who destroyed England with match figures of 9-103 in an emphatic 381-run victory for the home team in the first Test at Brisbane.

Anderson is second only to Ian Botham’s 383 in the list of England wicket-takers. And he wrote: “The atmosphere during the last hour in Brisbane was as hostile as I have experienced.

“I have absolutely no problem about any of what the Australians were doing on the field, I probably dish it out more than most in the field, so I generally get it back more than most. I expect it and accept it.”

England have won the last three Ashes series but travel to Adelaide having to find a new number three following the unexpected departure of Trott, who scored two centuries and averaged 89 on the previous tour of Australia in 2010-11.

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