England’s James Anderson set to target Steve Smith during the Ashes

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England cricketer James Anderson.

James Anderson is England’s most senior bowler (Picture: Getty)

England star James Anderson has revealed that he will be looking to target Steve Smith during the upcoming Ashes tour of Australia.

Smith has been a thorn in the England team for several series now, having scored 774 runs on his last Ashes tour in 2019 and a further 687 during the previous series in 2017/18.

Australia are seen as the favourites to win the upcoming series, with England heading Down Under minus Ben Stokes, who is continuing his indefinite break from the sport to focus on his mental well-being, while bowlers Jofra Archer and Sam Curran are also missing through injury. 

But Anderson, who is the leader of England’s bowling attack, thinks that they have a chance of winning if they can gain an early advantage over some of Australia’s best batters.

‘As a bowler you always look at the best player, and for me over the last three, four or five years, Smith’s been Australia’s best player,’ Anderson told Fox Cricket’s Road to the Ashes podcast.

‘He’s been the one they rely on for their volume of runs, obviously supported by guys around him like David Warner and Marnus Labuschagne recently. But he’s been their go-to in the last few years, so he’ll be the one that we will be keen to get out early.

Steve Smith scored 774 runs during the last series between the two teams (Picture: Getty)

‘We’ve got to start well. The Gabba in particular is huge for us. If we can get one-up on a few batters early, then that can have a real snowball effect throughout the series.

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‘Bowling in Australia is not necessarily more difficult, it’s just different. In England the Dukes swings more often than not, and with the wickets we play on, you can get some seam movement as well.

‘But you’re not going to get much swing with a Kookaburra, so it’s just about trying to hit good areas in the Ashes. You’ve just got to be relentless, and so accurate. And that’s where people do struggle.’

The series is set to get underway in Brisbane on December 8 and finish in Perth on January 18.


MORE : David Lloyd names the two players England should have dropped for the upcoming Ashes tour


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