Pakistan v England: James Anderson says tourists may have to get ‘creative’

James Anderson has played five one-day internationals in Pakistan but has not played in a Test
Event: rawalpindi Date: Thursday, December 1 (05:00 GMT)
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Bowler James Anderson says England may have to get “creative” to win the first Test against Pakistan in Rawalpindi on Thursday.

Pakistan has not lost any of the four matches played in Rawalpindi since Test Cricket returned to the country.

Two of those have been draws: the match against Australia in March saw just 14 wickets fall.

Anderson told BBC Sport: “We have a captain and a manager who don’t want draws. We’re not playing for draws.”

Captain Ben Stokes and manager Brendon McCullum have urged England to play aggressive since they took charge at the start of the summer.

The approach delivered six wins from seven matches but will now be challenged in the contrasting conditions of Pakistan, where England are set to play their first Test in 17 years.

“We don’t know how it’s going to work. Traditionally it’s flat,” said Anderson, 40.

“We’ll go out there and try to win the game; we may have to be creative in the way we do it.”

England halted tours to Pakistan after gunmen attacked the Sri Lankan team bus in 2009, only returning in September for a T20 series that the visitors won 4-3.

In the intervening years, Pakistan has hosted England in the United Arab Emirates. In two series, England lost five Tests, drew one and won none.

Anderson, England’s all-time greatest wicket-taker, is the only member of the current squad to have been part of the tour to Pakistan in 2005, but he admitted there is little knowledge he can pass on to his teammates.

“It’s great to be back,” he said. “Seventeen years is a long time. It would be wrong if I said ‘the field is going to play like this, or this is what is expected’.”

“It’s a completely different team we’re playing against, completely different conditions. It’s all about adapting when we go out there.”

Tests in Pakistan are often matters of attrition, far removed from the nature of all of England’s summer action – the comprehensive 2-1 series win against South Africa included just nine days of play.

When Australia defeated Pakistan 1-0 here earlier this year, they did so in the final session of the fifth day of the third test, after the first two matches had been drawn.

McCullum said Monday that his team is happy to risk losing to win.

Anderson said: “There will be times when we have to absorb the pressure. We understand that.

“But there will be times when we have to put pressure on the opposition again and the skill we’re trying to develop is when to do it.”

“With the ball, we’re trying to take wickets. The captain and manager have made it pretty clear: every time you run to bowl, it’s about taking wickets. It’s not about controlling the run rate, it’s about of how we’re doing.” to get 20 wickets”.

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