Anderson expecting hostile reception

James Anderson is expecting plenty of hostility from the Australian public when England travel Down Under for the forthcoming Ashes series but insists the players can deal with it.


Following the 3-0 success this summer, England will be looking to win their fourth successive Ashes series for the first time in 123 years.

The rivalry between the two sides is likely to be intensified this time around following calls from Australia coach Darren Lehmann to the home fans to send Stuart Broad home crying after he refused to walk in the opening Test of the summer.

But Anderson, who now sits second only to Sir Ian Botham in England’s all-time Test wicket-takers, is confident the tourists can silence any raucous home crowds.

“It can’t really get any more hostile than when we have played there before,” he said.

“Australia in general can be quite an intimidating place to play, they are very passionate and very vocal as well.

“Thankfully we have got a lot of experience in the team of people who have played there before in good times and bad times, we have experience of both the media and the public over there.

“The best way to shut them up is to perform well and certain players cope with it in their own ways.

“It is important, first and foremost, that we play well and if we do that then hopefully we can silence the crowds.

“I don’t think that whatever has happened will make that any worse. It will be a very partisan crowd but it always has been and always will be.”

The 31-year-old Lancastrian has also backed teammate Broad to take any extra attention on the chin and believes learning to deal with jibes from Australia, both on and off the field, can allow England to maintain their focus on a famous victory.

“He [Broad] got quite a lot in 2010/11 and dealt with it brilliantly until he got injured,” said Anderson.

“We all get stick when we go there, some more than others, and if you can accept that and prepare yourself for it and have a plan with how to deal with it then it goes a long way to dealing with it once you’re actually out there.

“Certainly in 2006 I definitely felt that and I know a number of the wives and girlfriends felt that as well when we were walking around at Christmas time and walking down the street getting abuse.

“We dealt with it better in 2010 and tried to interact more with the public and embrace their culture rather than be guarded and stay in our little bubble.

“One thing we found as well was that when we started playing well a lot of the people over there actually started appreciating how well we were playing.

“It is just a passion for the sport and we understand that and hopefully we will enjoy that again.”

England won 3-1 on their last Ashes tour of Australia in 2010/11 as the home crowd’s focus turned from sledging England’s players to turning on their own team, something Anderson does not expect this time around.

“I don’t see them doing that this time,” he added.

“At the start of that series they weren’t sure of the their strongest team but now they are a bit more settled so I imagine their focus now will be more on Pommie-bashing so we will have to prepare ourselves for that.”

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