Jimmy Anderson, bowling tacts v Australia, Joe Root

Cricket

Paceman Jimmy Anderson says it’s vital England gets “better at assessing” its bowling tactics ahead of the Boxing Day Test.

Already in a 2-0 deficit, England is on the verge of Ashes defeat, with much of the criticism landing at skipper Joe Root and the lengths of his bowlers.

Shortly after England’s recent defeat in Adelaide, Root made headlines after the match by stating: “If we’re being brutally honest, we needed to bowl fuller. As soon as we did in that second innings, we created chances.”

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Those comments led to stinging criticism from Australian legend Ricky Ponting, who questioned Roots’ ability to lead, as well as his role on the field.

In a column for the UK Telegraph, Anderson admitted the questionable lengths bowled was “fair comment”.

“We took a wicket off a no ball again, which is an absolutely schoolboy error at this level, Anderson wrote.

“The lengths bowled by us have been the focus of a lot of attention and it is fair comment.

“From a bowlers’ point of view, you want to be hitting the right lengths all the time.

“We did our best on the first two days to do that. I thought Australia left well and maybe we could have gone a touch fuller at times but we still created quite a few chances that were not taken.”

Anderson, a veteran of 167 Test matches, said England needs to address its bowling tactics “during a game”, rather than after.

“We have gone away and talked about it as a bowling group but that only goes so far,” Anderson added.

“We have to be better at assessing it during a game. We can’t just go after the game ‘we should have bowled fuller’.

“If we are bowling too short at lunch we need information back saying we need to push our lengths up.

“We have to be a bit more proactive at that too as a whole group.”

He said it was crucial they get the level of communication right between the coaches and players.

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“We can run messages out during the innings to say your length needs to go a touch fuller or whatever it might be,” he said.

“It is just communication but it is hard for coaches because you don’t want too much information.

“You can be overloaded by it so first and foremost it has to be players and captain who have to figure it out on the field.”

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