'English hopes hinge on Smith failure'

Pacer Anderson feels tourists can level series if Aussie skipper gets tamed


Afp/afp November 30, 2017
PHOTO: AFP

PARIS/ ADELAIDE: England's all-time leading wicket-taker James Anderson says getting Steve Smith's wicket cheaply is crucial to the tourists' chances of squaring the Ashes series in Adelaide this week.

Smith was the difference with his defiant unbeaten 141 in Australia's 10-wicket win over England in the first Brisbane Test.

Anderson, who looms as England's big hope in Saturday's historic first-ever Ashes day-night Test at Adelaide Oval, is hoping quicker pitch conditions will help the tourists' cause.

"He was the difference between the two teams. That first-innings lead would've been huge for us," Anderson told reporters Thursday. "So, getting him out here will be crucial. Hopefully more pace in the wicket might help us, but we've just got to be as relentless as we possibly can to someone like that."

Anderson, who has 508 wickets in 130 Tests, is expected to be suited by the swing and movement with the pink ball off the Adelaide pitch in the twilight conditions along with his new-ball partner Stuart Broad.

Anderson said England have their plans to dismiss the Australian captain, who is the world's top-rated Test batsman, and will continue to execute them in Adelaide.

"Obviously, the plans to him, I wouldn't say they didn't work, but we didn't get him out, so they worked to an extent," said Anderson. "We dried his runs up and made him work really hard for his hundred but obviously we want to get him out."

Smith was made to grind out his runs. It took 261 deliveries for Smith to reach triple figures in Brisbane in what was the slowest of his 21st Test centuries in terms of balls faced.

Smith's Test-defining unbeaten century over eight-and-a-half hours gave Australia a 26-run first innings lead which helped swing the momentum firmly towards Australia over the closing days of the Gabba Test.

"The encouraging thing for us is we came up with plans to all their batsmen before the series started and probably 70 percent of them worked," said Anderson. "For us that's encouraging, we can build on that. But there's still that small matter of someone getting 140 which we need to deal with."

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