England ace swing bowler James Anderson has set his sights on Australia's star batter Steve Smith ahead of his fifth Ashes tour. Even at 39 years of age, James Anderson looks unstoppable and continues to terrorize batters with his nagging swing bowling.
Anderson will spearhead England's bowling unit, which consists of Stuart Broad, Ollie Robinson, Chris Woakes and Mark Wood. Although the veteran is highly effective in home conditions, Anderson's record isn't as impressive in Australia. His performances Down Under have come down significantly since the productive 2010-11 tour.
James Anderson said he has always targeted the opposition's best player and admits Steve Smith has been Australia's lynchpin in the batting department. The Lancashire seamer wants to get his wicket as early as possible. He said as, quoted by The Herald Sun:
"I think, as a bowler, you always look at the best player. For me, over the last three, four, five years Steve Smith has been Australia’s best player. He’s the one they rely on for the volume of runs. Obviously, he’s been supported by guys around him like David Warner, Marnus Labuschagne, so there are other guys around that support him. But he’s been the guy who has been the go-to, so he will be the one I’m keen to get out early."
Steve Smith has indeed been England's nemesis and loves batting against the arch-rivals. The right-handed batsman averages a daunting 65.12 against the Three Lions in Test cricket and smashed 687 runs when they visited in 2017-18.
James Anderson looking forward to the battle between Stuart Broad and David Warner
Anderson also thinks the match-up between Stuart Broad and David Warner could be a significant subplot of the series. The veteran admitted that Broad had the edge over the southpaw in England. However, he believes things won't be as easy in Australia. Anderson said:
"Absolutely, that’s something I’ve really enjoyed watching as well. It’s been a great contest. In that particular series (2019), Stuart came out on top I’d say. But we’ve played so much cricket against Warner. You can never say you’re actually on top of him. He’s that good a batter and he’s got that much quality, especially in Australia. His record in Australia is absolutely ridiculous. We know it’s going to be a different animal to the one we faced in our summer."
Broad was the overwhelming force against Warner in the 2019 Ashes series in England, taking his wicket seven times. Meanwhile, Anderson also said he is unlikely to play all five Tests to manage his workload. The Ashes will kick off on December 8 in Brisbane.