England in for real fight to win final Pakistan Test, admits Anderson

James Anderson admits England are facing a tough battle against Pakistan as the tourists finish day one of the third Test on 104-6

By Christian Crowther-Smith
james anderson
England seamer James Anderson Photo: The Sport Review

james anderson

James Anderson believes England are in for a real battle if they are to claim victory in the third and final Test against Pakistan in Dubai.

A stunning display of seam-bowling from Anderson and Stuart Broad looked to have put England firmly in the ascendency on day one, as Pakistan were dismissed for just 99, before yet another middle-order collapse left the tourists teetering on 104-6 at the close.

Captain Andrew Strauss, who has struggled to find any form with the bat so far this series, was the only man to offer any real resistance, finishing 41 not-out.

But Alastair Cook, Jonathan Trott, Ian Bell, Eoin Morgan and Matt Prior all lost their wickets cheaply, with Kevin Pietersen again exposed by his weak technique against the left-hand spinners – falling LBW to the DRS system when looking good on 32.

Broad had earlier helped himself to 4-36 in a devastating open spell alongside strike-partner Anderson (3-35) as the duo accounted for Pakistan’s top five batsmen for a miserly 21 runs inside the first hour.

A brief spell of defiance from Asad Shafiq and Saeed Ajmal was soon broken up by the spin of Monty Panesar and when Anderson polished off the tale by cleaning out Gul, it looked like England were in business.

But instead Anderson was back on the field much earlier than he would have liked, pulled in as Night-Watchman to protect Strauss – and the seamer is in no doubt that Andy Flower’s men are in for a real fight to maintain their current world No1 Test ranking.

“Unfortunately, we didn’t get off to a great start with the bat – and it looks like it’s going to be a battle for the next few days,” Anderson told the BBC.

“All our guys are confident – but they’re probably just not spending the time at the crease they would like.

“Pakistan are bowling some really good balls to get us out. It was probably a good day to be watching, but a pretty nerve-wracking one for the players.

“It’s going to be a really tight match. I’ve got to hang around as much as I can and bat for Straussy.”

“He’s batted a while on that pitch and is used to the pace of it, so he can maybe score a bit more freely.”

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