James Anderson has said that dismissing Australia captain Steve Smith before he causes too much damage will be England’s first priority in the second Ashes Test in Adelaide.
The second Test begins in the early hours of tomorrow in the UK and Smith is looking dangerous after scoring an unbeaten 141 in the first innings of the first Test.
He proved pivotal in swinging the match in Australia’s favour and while England did eventually slow him down, ultimately there were unable to dismiss him.
Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s Test Anderson said, “He was the difference between the two teams. That first-innings lead would’ve been huge for us. 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. 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. We dried his runs up and made him work really hard for his hundred but obviously we want to get him out.”
The England team has suffered from some controversial incidents recently and as a result they have a midnight curfew imposed by ECB director of cricket Andrews Strauss. Nonetheless, despite the off-field problems, Anderson insists that they are completely focused on recovering from the first Test and retaining the Ashes.
“It is not like we are party animals, out till three every night,” Anderson added. “Our focus is showing what we can do with a cricket bat and ball in our hands.”
He said that the entire team is behind Johnny Bairstow following the head-butting incident and that it is up to them “individually and as a group to stick together and know that we are not here to roll over.”