James Anderson reflected on England’s “outstanding” bowling performance yesterday against a Cricket Australia XI but admits he cannot say the same for the batting collective just yet.
Anderson’s new-ball colleague Chris Woakes (four for 17) bowled England to the brink of a wide-margin victory in their penultimate Ashes warm-up match at the Adelaide Oval.
Instead, after their hosts recovered from the embarrassment of 25 for seven to 70 without further loss, Joe Root’s men must reconvene on the final afternoon to confirm their superiority in this pink-ball trial match.
That will surely be a formality, however, after Woakes blew away their top order in pursuit of 268 to win.
England earlier found their own trouble with the bat, mostly against first-change seamer Simon Milenko (five for 34) — losing four wickets for three runs to falter to 124 for seven, before Jonny Bairstow added an unbeaten 61 to Mark Stoneman’s 51 at the top of the order.
Asked first of all about England’s bowling, Anderson said: “It was outstanding, I thought.
“The three seamers bowled really well. We knew we had an important job to do, especially being a bowler down with Jake Ball injured.
“Having seen the movement the Australians got earlier in the day, we were encouraged by that.”
He is still scratching his head, however, as to why the pink ball seems so difficult for batsmen to handle once the floodlights come on.
“We’ve seen the batsmen struggle a little bit round the twilight period … there’s not much more swing, potentially it seams a little bit more as the dew comes down,” he said.