SYDNEY, (Reuters) – England’s pace spearhead James Anderson is keen to bowl with the pink Kookaburra ball in the day-night warm-up game in Adelaide to gain an experience which he believes will come in handy in their Ashes campaign against Australia.
England have played just one day-night test at home, with Dukes balls, and will face Australia in pink ball cricket in the second match of the five-test series at the Adelaide Oval from Dec. 2.
“Having the chance to practice with that and play in a first-class game is really important for us, especially playing at Adelaide where the test match is going to be,” Anderson told reporters after arriving in Adelaide for the match starting tomorrow.
“I’ve heard the pink Kookaburra does swing a bit more. I guess finding out how much the ball swings and what time of day it swings will be really useful for us.
“We spoke to the South Africans in our summer and they said it was difficult for batsmen in the twilight period and when the lights came on.”
England’s most prolific wicket-taker took four wickets in the touring side’s drawn opening warm-up game in Perth against a young Western Australia XI with their batsmen also spending some useful time in the middle.
But their preparations have been hampered by the uncertainty surrounding the fate of suspended all-rounder Ben Stokes, who is also the vice captain of the side. The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) suspended Stokes pending an investigation into an incident outside a Bristol nightclub in September for which he was arrested on suspicion of causing bodily harm.
England have arrived in Australia without Stokes, who was released without charge but remains under police investigation.
The 35-year-old Anderson, who has played 129 tests, said he would be ready to fill the role of Joe Root’s deputy if needed.
“Of course I wouldn’t turn it down,” Anderson said. “In the last couple of years, I’ve seen my role in the team as a leader.
“It’s kind of your responsibility to be a leader. It’s part and parcel of the job as a senior player having played over 100 tests.”
“With young bowlers coming into the team I’ve tried to help out as much as I can. I think it’s important that Joe has people he can rely upon.”