Ashes - Anderson backs Broad to handle flak

James Anderson is confident his England new-ball partner Stuart Broad is just one of a team full of Test tourists who will thrive on the provocation sure to come their way in Australia.

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Ashes - Anderson backs Broad to handle flak
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James Anderson, left, and Stuart Broad will lead England's attack this winter.

Just like Australia opener David Warner last summer, after he prefaced the Ashes by 'flipping' in a Birmingham bar and throwing a punch at Joe Root, Broad is set to be the opposition player the home supporters love to hate.

Controversy over his decision not to walk, after edging a ball from Ashton Agar to slip via the wicketkeeper's gloves in the Trent Bridge Test, has assured Broad pride of place among the Englishmen Australian crowds will try to engage in 'banter'.

Broad himself has already said 'bring it on', or words to that effect, and Anderson - whose 24 wickets on England's last tour of Australia helped deliver a historic and overdue away victory - is thinking likewise.

Asked if Broad will relish his interactions with the Australian public this winter, Anderson said: "Yes, I think so.

"He's prepared to get a fair bit of stick.

"I think he's the sort of character that will deal with it well."

The best response, Anderson advises, is simply to keep performing with ball or bat.

"I think there's one way to silence people - and he knows it. It's to bowl well.

"I hope he can do that.

"Everyone is prepared to get some stick out here. You get it anywhere in the world, when you travel away, so we're all prepared for it.

"I guess it's an added incentive."

Among those who will also need to respond appropriately in the Ashes is at least one of England's tall trio Boyd Rankin, Steven Finn and Chris Tremlett.

It is highly-likely only one of them per Test will have the chance to support Anderson and Broad as third seamer, and England will continue the process of deciding who goes first when they pick their team to face Australia A in a four-day match starting in Hobart on Wednesday.

None excelled in the drawn tour opener against a WA Chairman's XI in Perth, but Anderson said: "All three have a huge amount of quality between them, and whoever plays in that first Test will fit in perfectly well.

"You can't really tell much off one game, the first of the tour, so the next two games will be more telling."

As for himself, Anderson acknowledges the pressure is on to try to replicate his and England's 2010/11 success.

"I want to try and improve on what I did here last time if I can. If I get 24 wickets again, obviously I'll be delighted.

"I hope I can do something similar.

"But the main thing for us is winning the series. Whether I get 10 wickets or 30 wickets, as long as we win the series, I'm not fussed."

Expectations, as England bid for a fourth successive Ashes series win, will inevitably be high - setting Alastair Cook's tourists a fresh and very different challenge to the one accomplished under Andrew Strauss three years ago.

"There's still plenty of pressure there. We've still got to win an Ashes series," added Anderson.

"As leader of the attack, I guess I always feel a bit of responsibility and pressure in that respect - trying to set the tone for the team.

"We've got some quality bowlers in our team. It proved in the last series in England that we need guys to step up at different times - in the way that Swanny (Graeme Swann), Broady and I all did to contribute throughout the series.

"That's going to be crucial again out here, to win this series.

"I thought we dealt well with the expectation in the summer, and we're going to have to do that again out here."

England may not have to do so against Shane Watson, whose hamstring injury in Australia's final one-day international against India on Saturday could not have come at a worse time.

Watson, a pivotal presence at the top of the order and with the ball, will have a scan on the injury but is still hoping to be fit in time to play at Brisbane.

Should he not recover in time, however, a clutch of aspirant batsmen will be in contention to replace him - including Alex Doolan, set to play against England this week on his home ground.

"I'm sure it is (my big chance)," he said.

"It's no secret the Australian team hasn't been performing the way everyone would've liked.

"So I'm lucky I'm in the boat with quite a few others and fortunate to be playing this game against England.

"Whether this is my one and only chance, I don't know."

England (v Australia A in Hobart, from): AN Cook (Captain), JE Root, IJL Trott, KP Pietersen, GS Ballance, JM Bairstow, MJ Prior (wkt), SCJ Broad, GP Swann, JM Anderson, ST Finn, CT Tremlett, WB Rankin, IR Bell, BA Stokes, MA Carberry.

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