Jimmy Anderson will be asked by the best bowler in the world to reveal some of his secrets.
Anderson’s ability to swing the ball and unbelievable longevity – he is playing his 167th Test more than 18 years after his debut – has caught the eye of Pat Cummins.
And the new Australian captain Cummins, the world’s No. 1 bowler in Test cricket, is determined to do a private tutorial before the end of the Ashes series.
Cummins, 28, admitted: “I haven’t chosen his mind about bowling yet, but I would love to.
“Jimmy is just brilliant – the leading wicket-taker for over 150 Test matches and England.
“Longevity is really impressive. As a fast bowler you get niggles and injuries and he has been battling it non-stop for almost two decades.
“It just shows that it’s possible to bowl in your late 30s and still be on top of your game. He brings experience and class to their side and is always a challenge.”
As he grew older, Anderson, now 39, is more and more happy to share his knowledge and help the next generation of fast bowlers.
Normally, there are England players like Ollie Robinson, who have been so influential in Test cricket since his debut last summer.
Anderson can mentor on the field or behind the scenes when he is not playing, such as after being ruled out of the first Test in Brisbane.
He explained: “I think my job as a senior player is to try to help as much as I can, whether I’m playing or not.
“It has been difficult on this tour because of the lack of preparation before the start of the Test. So whatever knowledge we can pass on to people who haven’t played here before is important.
“Me, Stuart Broad, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler – people with experience – that’s what we’re trying to do.
“So someone like Oli is a quality bowler. He has been really impressive, not only in the games he has played, but also when he has been around the group over the past year or so.
“He has a lot of skill – he is precise and can swing a ball, which you need a lot. His bowling adapts to any situation.
“It’s nice to hear Australians say nice things about me, but I bet they’re not going to say very nice things this week!”
Anderson admitted that he will not play every Test these days as England continue to rest and rotate the bowlers in these Covid times. He will probably play three out of five matches in this series.
He explained: “It’s always disappointing to miss out on a Test – but it’s about the bigger picture.
“We have five Tests in a row and we are trying to keep the players fresh.
“It’s something I’ve gotten used to, but when the captain wants me to, I try to be ready.”
Durham pacer Mark Wood took his turn to rest for the second Test.
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He regularly bowled at over 90 mph in the first Test in Brisbane and some Australian batsmen did not like his pace.
Captain Joe Root explained: “With four Tests in four weeks, it is important that we keep our bowling group fresh.
“Mark will be playing an important role in this series, so we have to make sure he is fresh and able to perform to his full potential.”