James Anderson is excited at the opportunity to help England’s new breed of bowlers maximise their potential. Anderson is the linchpin in a one-day international pace attack also comprising Chris Jordan and Harry Gurney as a new era takes shape under the captaincy of Alastair Cook and guidance of coach Peter Moores.
It suffered an embarrassing blip on Sunday, in a near record 157-run defeat against Sri Lanka at Chester-le-Street. But Anderson and his new pace-bowling colleagues were not to blame for that, having performed well enough to restrict the tourists to 256 for eight.
In any case – as England seek to re-establish momentum in a Royal London series therefore level at 1-1 with three to play, starting at Emirates Old Trafford on Wednesday afternoon – Anderson is relishing the arrival of new personnel.
“Certainly from a bowling unit point of view, there’s some new guys there that I’m getting used to playing with and talking to,” he said.
“They’ve got fresh ideas and things that, I hope, could help me as well as me helping them.
“It’s an exciting time.”
A dramatic improvement from the weekend will obviously not go amiss.
“We didn’t play well (at Chester-le-Street), but there’s a real strong feeling that we can be successful as a team,” added Anderson.
“That’s what we’ve worked on the last couple of days, playing to our strengths and being positive about our cricket – because maybe that’s something we didn’t do the other day.
“We were a little bit tentative and we can go out (here) and be very very positive.”
Anderson has not always excelled for England on his home ground.
“I’ve not played very well here in the last few international games,” he said.
“But in the first two games of the series, I’ve bowled well – and hope I can continue.”
The opposition, meanwhile, are considering the option of two frontline spinners in the day-night fixture at a venue where their all-time great exponent Muttiah Muralitharan was once a fixture in Lancashire colours.
Murali retired from international cricket three years ago.
But his influence is still significant on current progatonists, and Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews said: “All the spinners are in contact with Murali, even though he is not part of our team any more.
“He talks to our guys and gives them a lot of advice. I’m sure they look to him whenever they need him.
“He’s been there for us right throughout, and we’re very thankful to him.”