Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Jimmy on Fire to Turn Up the Heat ; England's Ashes Talisman Will Leave the Aussies Hot and Bothered Says Peter Moores

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Jimmy on Fire to Turn Up the Heat ; England's Ashes Talisman Will Leave the Aussies Hot and Bothered Says Peter Moores

Article excerpt

IN New Zealand in 2008 the then England coach Peter Moores made what he still admits now was a 'big call.' Having lost the first Test by 189 runs in Hamilton, Moores axed Ashes heroes Steve Harmison and Matthew Hoggard and brought in Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad.

And in that one move, he began a new era in England's Test team.

It is a move that is still paying dividends now - long after Moores swapped the three lions for Lancashire's Red Rose.

Broad and Anderson are both crucial to the England side which tomorrow at Trent Bridge will begin an Ashes series they are expected to dominate.

Lancashire pace bowler Anderson goes into battle against the old enemy with 307 Test wickets to his name. That's more than any other Lancastrian and behind just Bob Willis and Sir Ian Botham in England's all-time list.

He is regarded by most as the best swing bowler in the world, and is the member of England's attack the Aussies fear most.

And although that decision five years ago raised some eyebrows, it helped England win the series 2-1 as Anderson took 5-73 in that second Test at Wellington. And it set the side off in a direction which ultimately saw them become the best Test team in the world and win Ashes series home and away.

"It was a big change at the time," Lancashire coach Moores told M.E.N. Sport. "They were tough decisions on Harmison and Hoggard, but I always thought Jimmy was a great bowler because he had good pace and he swung the ball.

Responsibility "Since then Jimmy has grown from being a good bowler to a leading bowler who takes responsibility.

"He can bowl in different situations. He has played in the sub- Continent and found ways to overcome that.

"As you get more skilful it means that whatever conditions he faces in England Jimmy will have a plan because he has been successful in different countries.

"He is very consistent. Not many things phase him. He can bowl a bad over or be slightly out of rhythm and still come back at you.

"He has options whether it swings or it doesn't and he has a great economy rate, so he is always creating pressure - even if he is not taking wickets.

"He works very hard and is very disciplined and he has got to the point of his career where he has become low maintenance. He knows what to expect, how to prepare and as a coach you can leave him to his own devices.

"Jimmy is in a good place. He is at the peak of his powers."

Moores never got to take charge of England in an Ashes series as he was axed just months before the 2009 visit of the Aussies.

But his stamp is still evident on the current England team. As well as reinstating Anderson and Broad, he brought in Jonathan Trott, Matt Prior and Graeme Swann. And he also added current England coach Andy Flower to his backroom staff.

And Moores believes his former charges and his good friend Flower will just be too good for the Aussies, even despite Australia axing Mickey Stewart as coach and bringing in Darren Lehmann. …

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