Perth, Australia – England are confident bowling talisman Jimmy Anderson will regain his best form, despite another wicketless day for the seamer as Australia took the honours on the opening day of the third Test in Perth.
Anderson bowled well at times on a bouncy WACA wicket, but got little swing and finished with 0/44 from 17 overs as Australia recovered from 143/5, thanks largely to an unbeaten Steve Smith century, to be 326/6 at stumps in a match where victory to the home side will secure the Ashes.
Anderson has taken only 17 wickets at just under 46 runs apiece in his past seven Tests, since bowling England to victory in the first Ashes Test of the English summer at Trent Bridge in July with 10 wickets for the match.
A veteran of 90 Tests with 334 wickets, the right-armer's recent drought has contributed to England's inability to bowl Australia out cheaply.
In the first Test of this series, Australia were in deep trouble in Brisbane at 132/6 but recovered to make 295 in the first innings, while in the second Test in Adelaide the home side were 174/4, but went on to make 570.
England bowling coach David Saker conceded Anderson's dry spell was hurting the team as it struggles to hang onto the Ashes.
“He's probably been disappointing, and he'd be the first to say it's been disappointing he hasn't got wickets,” Saker said.
“He bowled some fantastic spells this series and he bowled some good spells after Trent Bridge as well.
“We actually talked about it this week about the need to get some wickets.”
However, Saker said he was confident Anderson's luck would turn.
“I'm very confident. I know Jimmy very well,” he said.
“He's just got to make sure that he stays true to what he does well.”
Anderson has also been a central player in the sledging controversies of the first two Tests. – Sapa-AFP