India can't complain if we leave a bit of grass on pitch, says England's James Anderson

England fast bowler James Anderson
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England fast bowler James Anderson

Highlights

  • James Anderson has over 1,000 First-Class wickets
  • India vs England, 1st Test is set to begin on Aug. 4
  • It is their first assignment of the 2021-23 WTC Cycle

England fast bowler James Anderson said on Tuesday that India won't complain if the hosts leave a bit of grass because of how India had played their advantage at home earlier this year.

India and England are set to lock horns in a five-match Test series, starting Aug. 4 (Wednesday) at Trent Bridge, Nottingham.

"I am sure they are going to trim some grass out. They are going to roll it as well. I don't think India can have any complaints if we do leave a bit of grass [on the pitch] because of what we came up against in our tour of India last time. It certainly played into India's hands. They used the home advantage to their benefit.

A lot of teams around the world do it. A green pitch brings India's seam attack into the game as well. We want pace and carry on the pitches because we know quite often it is going to swing here, so we want that extra carry," England's veteran bowler Anderson further told the reporters on the eve of the first Test.

With 617 wickets in 162 matches, Anderson is the most successful fast bowler in the history of Test cricket. Last month, he took his 1,000th First-Class wicket to help Lancashire skittle Kent for 74 inside a session at Old Trafford.

On being asked which Indian batsman will be a prized wicket, Anderson replied, "India has got a very strong batting lineup. It is very difficult to single players out because they have got quality throughout the squad. We saw that on our recent tour of India. (Virat) Kohli is important because he is the captain, and you can see the influence he has on the team. (Cheteshwar) Pujara holds the innings together, so he is an important wicket. I think if you look through the lineup – the guys who miss out also have huge quality – we have got to try and make a plan for everyone."

Ahead of the Test series, while India have suffered a few injury set-backs, England will be without their key all-rounder Ben Stokes, who withdrew from the series citing mental health issues.

Backing Stokes' decision, Anderson said that he hopes his teammate receives the needed help to come back stronger. The 39-year-old Lancashire pacer also said that back in the days when he started his career, speaking about mental health was seen more as a weakness.

"I think it affects different people in different ways. Different pressures come with being successful in your sport. Certainly, from Ben's (Stokes) point of view, he has been through a lot in the last few years, and he has played a hell of a lot of cricket. What is positive from all of this is in the last few years, it's become more okay to talk about it and be open about your feelings and problems.

When I started, from a male athlete's point of view, maybe it was seen as a weakness if you spoke about struggling with pressure. I am grateful it has become okay to talk about it now. I hope Ben gets the rest and the help he needs and comes back stronger," added Anderson.

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