Cricket: Anderson closes in on 300 wickets

By David Leggat

Jimmy Anderson will shortly become the 26th bowler to 300 wickets, and for more than one reason he'd rather it was sooner than later.

Sure, there's the personal reasons, and probably the stopping of the questions about what it will mean, but also because the more wickets he takes at Eden Park in the third and deciding test of the ANZ international series from tomorrow, the better the chances of helping England clinch a series victory at the last.

Anderson stands at 295 wickets. Only four Englishmen are ahead of him. He's taken seven wickets in the first two tests at 33 apiece and there's a sense he'd like to get the milestone out of the way.

"It would be a huge achievement," the 30-year-old Lancastrian said of the triple hundred. "But first of all I've got to get some wickets. It's something, once I get into the game, I won't be thinking about."

He's feeling okay, the rained out final day in Wellington last Monday giving Anderson and his seam bowling chums Stuart Broad and Steven Finn an extra day's rest, "so I hope, come Friday, my body will be ready to go five days again".

Which is not to say he's feeling fresh as a spring lamb.

"I don't think fresh is the word. But when you've got just one big test left, you always manage to find something a little bit extra in the tank - knowing we have got a few weeks off when we get home."

English grizzles about the state of the pitches at Dunedin and Wellington didn't get much change from the classy swing bowler. He knows rain possibly prevented two victories, and then there'd have been far less pitch chatter than there has been.

"Test pitches around the world are generally quite flat, and you've got to work hard for your victories. It's no different out here," he said.

"So you can't say they're not result pitches ... you've just got to work hard as a bowler to get 20 wickets in a game.

"That's just the way things are. You have to find different ways of getting people out.

"You can't always just steam in and try and roll sides over.

"You've got to use other skills, and that's what we've been trying to do this trip."

- NZ Herald

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