Tailender James Anderson has come under fire from David Warner, nor has he received any sympathy from umpires over ‘s bumper barrage.
The ns have vowed to continue their tactic of short pitched bowling at England’s tail, as giant quick Josh Hazlewood all but declared it’s five out, all out for the visitors.
Former England captain Michael Atherton this week called for a crackdown from umpires, who have provisions in law 41.6.1 to take into account a batsman’s skill, or lack thereof, when determining if the bowling is dangerous. Since the introduction of helmets, it has been rarely used at international level.
Anderson has raised his concerns to the umpires only to be told to improve his play against bouncers. The veteran, who was struck on the helmet by Pat Cummins in Perth, bats at No.11 but with an average of 10 and a highest Test score of 81 is no bunny.
“I have actually chatted to the umpires about it during this series and they say at Test level you should be able to handle short balls,” Anderson wrote in a column for UK newspaper The Telegraph.
“That is a clear message to get in the nets and practice against bouncers.
“I was not quizzing the umpires or asking them to stop it happening. I was just interested in their opinion. I guess we just need to get better at playing them. I have no problem with that. It is part and parcel of the game.”
Anderson has raised the hackles of the ns, who noticed how ready he was to get in Steve Smith’s face under lights in Adelaide but not so on the batsman-friendly pitch in Perth.
“That’s what happens in this form of the game, sometimes you can ride the coat tails of being in front and what not but it’s Test cricket, it’s hard-fought out there,” Warner said.
“Sometimes you pick your times when you want to go at people, sometimes you go into your shell like a turtle. We’ve probably shut them up a little bit at the moment.
“Hopefully this gets them up and going and they fire some barbs at us, because I love that, I love whenever we’re in a contest and I feel like they were quite flat in WA, that’s for sure.”
There will be no respite from the n pace attack, who believe they have uncovered a significant weakness in England’s tail.
The visitors have added more more than 100 after being five wickets down only once this series compared to ‘s three.
They lost 6/56 and 5/40 in Brisbane, 7/64 in Adelaide and 6/35 and 5/46 in Perth. Their first innings collapse in the third Test was the turning point of the game.
“From the start of the series we set out with some really good plans,” paceman Mitchell Starc, who will miss the match due to injury, said.
“They’ve worked through the series so far, we may have tinkered with a few of those but the plan to the tail has always been the same. Be very aggressive, bowl fast, get up in their nose and have them jumping around.
“We’re pretty happy with how the plans are going, we’re 3-0 up, that will continue through this Test and hopefully by the end of the week it’s 4-0.”
believes it can trigger another collapse at the MCG despite the venue’s reputation for being a graveyard for bowlers.
“That’s been one of the big differences, our middle to lower order has wagged a fair bit this summer,” Hazlewood said.
“We know if we get them four, five down then we can really go through that bottom half pretty quickly on any wicket.
“So we don’t really need much in the wicket to take those last six wickets. It’s about grinding it out, getting those first four or five, doing our work there and we reap the rewards later on.”