Sport Cricket Sledging is a skill, says James Anderson

Sledging is a skill, says James Anderson

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Vocal England paceman James Anderson says he has developed his sledging as a “skill” because it helps his game.

Anderson, the focal point of the most controversial incident in the first Ashes Test at the Gabba, also says he has no problem with anything said to him by Australian players so far in the series.

Australia captain Michael Clarke was fined for telling Anderson he should get ready for a broken arm when facing Mitchell Johnson in the first Test at the Gabba, where England suffered a 381-run defeat.

He had allegedly threatened to punch Australia’s short leg fielder George Bailey.

But while Anderson said the atmosphere at the Gabba was one of the most hostile he has experienced, he does not expect – or want – anything to change for the rest of the series.

“I have absolutely no problem about any of what the Australians were doing on the field,” Anderson wrote in his column in Britain’s Mail on Sunday.

“I probably dish it out more than most in the field, so I generally get it back more than most. I expect it and accept it.”

Anderson claimed sledging was a key part of what has made him the bowler he is.

“I try to get myself into a battle,” he said. “It heightens my concentration. Certainly in the past few years I think I’ve developed it as a skill and it has helped me take the wickets that I have.”

The level of sledging has come under scrutiny following Clarke’s comments – picked up by a stump microphone – and Jonathan Trott’s departure from the Tour following the opening Test with a stress-related illness.

Anderson admitted he had a moment’s pause, but resolved to continue.

“Sometimes, certainly after the game with what happened with Jonathan Trott, you sit down and think, is it actually that important?” he said.

“But when you’re out there and batting, all you are concentrating on is trying to win the game and, in this case, one of the most important series in our careers.”