Anderson: Players must lift England

Congleton Guardian: James Anderson thinks the onus is on the players to turn England's fortunes around this summer James Anderson thinks the onus is on the players to turn England's fortunes around this summer

James Anderson believes this winter's Ashes flops must take the responsibility of leading England into their new era.

England are set to name a new coach in the next month, tasking the incoming leader with establishing the shoots of recovery following the 5-0 whitewash Down Under.

Anderson believes, however, that the onus should be on the players rather than the new man.

"As important as a head coach is, I feel it's the players that have to try and turn things round," Anderson wrote on his personal blog, www.jamesanderson613.com.

"I honestly believe the group of players that are selected have to take responsibility to try and get the team out of the trough we find ourselves in.

"A successful team is not led by one man. The captain is also important, of course, but a successful team has a group of leaders within the team. We will need a nucleus of four or five leaders who can drive the team in the right direction."

England descended into chaos during the winter, which prompted Andy Flower to step down as team director before Kevin Pietersen's controversial axing.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) are due to announce Flower's replacement in the next month, with limited-overs boss Ashley Giles and Lancashire coach Peter Moores tipped as the men most likely to get the job.

Anderson has worked under both and is confident either would be a suitable fit to help reinvigorate the national team.

"Ashley Giles and Peter Moores have been named in the shortlist of candidates and, having worked under both, I think they are each well equipped for the job," he said.

"Peter Moores has played a big part in my career and I have always enjoyed his enthusiasm and skill for coaching. Likewise, I have enjoyed working with Ashley Giles, particularly during last year's Champions Trophy (when England reached the final)."

Australia's decision to employ Darren Lehmann as their coach - just 16 days before last winter's Ashes - has been credited as the key to their significant turnaround in fortunes.

Lehmann's aggressive approach to the game has struck a chord with the Australians - and most significantly Mitchell Johnson - as they followed their Ashes success by beating top-ranked South Africa on their home soil.

Both series wins were completed in some style as Johnson's breakneck fast-bowling was accompanied by David Warner's heavy-handed approach to batting.

Anderson is wary of being drawn into a quick-fix - and simply attempting to developing the same 'brand' of cricket - suggesting instead that England would be better served by trying to win matches rather than to also entertain.

"A word that seems popular in sport at the moment is 'brand'," he said.

"Referring to the style of play, it seems popular in football, rugby and cricket. Pundits and supporters alike seem to be talking about teams' brand of football or brand of cricket. It was a word I heard the Australian players use a lot in the winter.

"My first thought before playing a game is 'win'. That is the outcome all teams want, surely?

"Obviously all teams want to play a good brand of cricket, a brand that people want to come and watch, but they want to win. Isn't that why we are so passionate about the game?"

Lehmann was critical of England's methodical approach during last winter's 3-0 Ashes success, but Anderson thinks the side should stick to a style that led them to the top of the rankings.

"The new coach will have an idea of how he wants the team to play, the captain will also have his view on the 'brand' of cricket he wants the team to play," Anderson added.

"I always thought that we played our best cricket when we are aggressive and calculated. Executing well-made plans, creating pressure by bowling accurately for long spells of time and laying a platform with the bat early so our aggressive players can make hay later in the innings.

"People always associate aggression with fast bowling or big hitting or sledging but you can be aggressive in many other ways.

"The best example I can use is when I'm bowling and the ball is swinging, I can be aggressive by bowling an attacking line and length. Swinging the ball away from the line of the stumps and bowling a fuller length is an aggressive way of trying to take wickets."

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