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Shortlist meets James Anderson

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We spoke to opening bowler/newly crowned national hero James Anderson with three tests still to play. Now, after a record-breaking victory, here's another look at what he had to say...

You’ve had a dream start to the series. How are the Australians taking it?

The fans have been pretty quiet, to be honest. Last time we were here you couldn’t walk out of the hotel without being abused and being told how rubbish we were. But on the last day of the first Test in Brisbane this time, there were no Australian people in the crowd. It was like a home atmosphere with three to four thousand English people, which was amazing. And it’s just unheard of.

The perception here is that you’re enjoying your time out there, especially with crazes like the sprinkler dance…

[Laughs] We’ve heard a lot of people have seen that. We had a practice match in Adelaide and I said, “If we win, I’m going out tonight and I’m doing the sprinkler dance.” Someone asked what it was and it just took off from there. But I didn’t invent it, it’s something that I saw years ago out in Burnley.

Other than starting dance crazes, how do you pass the time?

If we’re not practicing we’ll play golf or on the Xbox, either Call Of Duty or Fifa. I’m not that good, but I am getting better. Jonathan Trott’s the best. He’s good at everything he plays — and he plays a lot of games. A lot of us have the new Football Manager too. Stuart Broad got to 2017 in about two weeks. He plays it every minute of the day.

Even in the dressing room?

It’d be good to have our laptops in the dressing room, but we’re not allowed electronic devices in there. Phones are taken off us as soon as we get to the ground. But a lot of us are superstitious, so in the final two days of the first Test when the guys were doing well everyone stayed in exactly the same spot for about 10 hours. Graeme Swann started that tradition.

You must hate him for it…

You say that, but it worked. That’s what did it. Nothing to do with the lads who were actually batting. [Laughs] Swanny’s brilliant to have around because he’s exactly the same 24 hours a day. He never gets down and there’s always a joke around the corner. He does impressions of the lads too. We were watching The Inbetweeners and he chose who we were all like. I’m Simon. Steven Finn is Neil, the tall thick one. He’s not happy but it’s spot on. Alastair Cook is Will, the geeky one and that’s definitely spot on. And Swanny is Jay, who comes out with all the crap.

Are you managing to keep up with things such as the football scores?

All the games are on TV over here, but they’re on so early. I support Burnley and their game against Derby was on at 3am. I didn’t fancy getting up at that time, especially in the middle of a Test match. But there’s re-run after re-run of them, even the Championship games, so I caught it later. Everyone follows a team. Swanny’s a Newcastle fan and Paul Collingwood’s a Sunderland fan, so when they played each other that was huge. The rest of us all sat back and just watched them argue for the whole afternoon.

After the disaster at the World Cup in South Africa, do you think England’s football team could learn from the cricket team’s camaraderie?

Cricket’s such a different set-up to football. The England football team come together for a couple of days every now and again, but we’re all together for 12 months of the year. We are hardly ever with our counties so we’re like a Premier League team would be. You can’t replicate the familiarity we have. Everyone’s such close friends and I’ve got a couple of my best mates in the team. It’s just a really great environment at the moment.

David Cameron has said he will have you all round for a party if you win the series. Do you see that as an incentive to win or an incentive to lose?

I’d be interested to see what a party with David Cameron would be like. Would it have a DJ or would we just be sitting round eating crumpets and scones? I’m guessing it would be the latter, but I’d prefer the DJ. I hope I’d be able to carry myself better than the guys did in 2005. But I’ve not really got a stop button when I start drinking, so it could be a problem.

James Anderson is sponsored by private bank Brown Shipley; www.brownshipley.com

(Image: PA)

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