Cricket: Fit and firing Anderson ready for India challenge

By David Leggat

Black Caps bowler Corey Anderson. Photo / Alan Gibson.
Black Caps bowler Corey Anderson. Photo / Alan Gibson.

Corey Anderson will arrive at the world T20 in good shape, trusting his injury-prone body and determined to make an impact.

The powerful left-hand allrounder made a successful comeback from his back injury, which had sidelined him for seven months last year, in the home series against Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Australia.

The second test loss at Christchurch last month was the best indicator that Anderson is tracking well. His bowling was tidy and a match double of 72 and 40 was impressive. Throw in a hectic 82 not out off 42 balls against Pakistan in a T20 clash in Wellington on January 22 and the signs are encouraging.

"I do feel good," Anderson said before departing with the New Zealand squad for Dubai and a training camp ahead of the world T20 in India.

"Being an allrounder my whole life, I've always tried to do everything. You do end up doing each facet better when you're all of them. You always feel in the game and if one fails you've got the other to potentially back it up.

"You want to get the ball or bat in your hand and do a job for your team, and want to be that guy they rely on."

There's no question a fit and firing Anderson brings balance to the New Zealand team. He is earmarked for an important role at No4 in the batting order, after Martin Guptill, captain Kane Williamson and Colin Munro.

Anderson averages 20.81 in 20 T20s, but at a strike rate of 144, with 12 wickets. His golden arm reputation won't hurt in India.

Most of the New Zealand team are familiar with touring India. Anderson isn't expecting any surprises.

"You always remember what it's like, and you go back and it's still a bit of a shock to the system how loud it is, and the culture. But with the number of events that go on in India, it's become the hub of T20 cricket."

Indian Premier League activity begins shortly after the world tournament, so a fair chunk of Anderson's next few weeks will be in India.

The Indians are a definite competition favourite, but Anderson reckons the gap between test and ODI cricket is narrowed in the shortest form.

"The beauty of these T20 competitions is you are playing with other guys from different countries and training with them.

"The fear factor of going to the sub-continent is now something guys are getting used to.

"In T20 you only need one or two guys to have a key moment and that can be enough to win a game.

"Even teams you think probably aren't as strong as your own side can still beat you if one or two have a good day."

- NZ Herald

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