Ashes: Anderson puzzled by first-Test fitness rumours

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James Anderson

Adelaide, December 1: James Anderson insists his fitness was never in doubt despite question marks being raised during England's 10-wicket defeat to Australia in Brisbane.

Concerns began to materialise on day three at the Gabba after Anderson only bowled four overs in the afternoon session and spent time off the field while Steve Smith took the game away from the tourists.

England were quick to allay any fears at the time, and Anderson continued to plug away for England, albeit to no avail as Australia cruised to victory on day five.

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With the pink ball expected to swing at the Adelaide Oval, much is expected of Anderson and he is raring to go.

"I'm not sure where the rumour about my fitness came from or who made that up in the commentary box," he told a media conference.

"I've been absolutely fine. I got hit on the shoulder while I was batting but apart from a little bruise, there is nothing serious.

"Certainly nothing that's going to stop me playing."

Another issue that has dogged England's preparations for the second Test is the incident between Jonny Bairstow and Cameron Bancroft in Perth at the start of the tour.

Both camps have played down the episode, and Anderson says the extra attention has helped bring the touring party closer.

"The Ashes always seem to bring things up off the field," he added. "There is always something that crops up and they waited until they were ahead in the game to do it.

"It's down to us to really focus on the cricket. We're here to win an Ashes series. We're not bothered about a war of words with the Australians, we just want to outperform them.

"We have a really tight group of players who really get on well and are trying to win a big Test series.

"We don't need an extra incentive, but if we did it will give us that. It has probably brought us closer together as a group. If anything it will galvanise us as a group."

Source: OPTA

Story first published: Friday, December 1, 2017, 1:00 [IST]
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