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James Anderson ‘didn’t enjoy’ a single over he bowled in opener and backs Rehan Ahmed for Lord’s

England fast bowler James Anderson says didn’t enjoy a single over he bowled in a thrilling first Ashes Test at Edgbaston, but says 18-year-old spinner Rehan Ahmed is ready for to impact the Ashes if he is called upon.

Australia took a 1-0 lead in this summer’s series as Pat Cummins’ side defeated the hosts by two wickets, striking the first blow in what looks to be the most exciting and hotly-contested Ashes for a decade.

Speaking ahead of the second Test at Lord’s, Anderson, when asked how his body felt after bowling 38 overs in the first Test with figures of 1-109, replied: “I didn’t enjoy one of them.

“It wasn’t my favourite Test match to play in, to be honest. Obviously you want to contribute to the team and I just didn’t feel like it was my best week. For me the last few days have been good to be able to switch off, let the body recover and go into next week flying.”

The importance of being able to switch off between games he says cannot be overstated: “It’s huge. I think especially as it was a tight game, went five days, it can take a lot out of you and you need that break.

“It will be very tough for both teams if the games are back to back, which the next two are. For us it’s important to switch off, guys can go see their families and chill out for a few days and then most guys are meeting up Sunday as a group and switch back on.”

And would England switch approach from Bazball? Especially after the first-innings declaration was heavily criticised in retrospect of the result?

“I think we’ll go more positive if anything,” Anderson said.

“We’ll try and be more positive, more aggressive, more entertaining. We’ll try and make sure people go home happy, as they did each day at Edgbaston.

“Just because we’re 1-0 down it doesn’t mean we’re going to try anything different. We showed enough last week that we can win the next four if we keep playing like that and iron a few things out. We’ll play exactly the same, if not harder.”

Ahmed’s time to shine?

Rehan Ahmed, 18, earmarked to make a big impact on England’s fortunes from a young age, has been called up as cover for Moeen Ali ahead of the Lord’s Test. Ali’s blistered finger caused him notable discomfort throughout the first Test, and Anderson says Ahmed is ready to step up if needed.

“If anyone is at that age, he is. He’s got a really good head on his shoulders. He’s done really well in all forms of cricket when he’s come in. He learns quickly, he’s got the skills to be able to play at this level and he’s got the temperament as well.

“I know he’s cover but even if he did get the ball thrown to him, I’m sure he’ll do a great job.

Anderson was speaking from the London Stadium, ahead of throwing out the ceremonial first pitch before the series between the Chicago Cubs and the St. Louis Cardinals. His mindset ahead of that was pretty Bazball too.

“I’m just going to throw it as hard as I can!”


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