If Australia win the toss then they will be widely expected to bat first, handing James Anderson the responsibility of bowling the first ball of this Ashes series.
We all remember sitting down to watch the first ball of the series, big Steve Harmison bounding in before sending his delivery to a somewhat surprised Andrew Flintoff at second slip. While that ball isn’t the only reason England went on to lose the series 5-0, it certainly set a tone for the whitewash according to many Ashes online betting pundits.
Anderson has vowed he won’t crumble under the pressure which affected Harmison four years ago. The Lancashire swinger knows how important the opening ball of any series is, especially at the Ashes. “To bowl the first ball is a big responsibility for me in every game we play but even more than normal on Thursday. It's my job to set the tone for the team.”
Anderson will be under extra pressure during the opening part of this series, knowing his wife is back home, on the verge of popping out their first child at the beginning of next month. The bowler is planning on flying home after the second Test in a bid to be at the birth.
Problems could occur if Anderson junior doesn’t keep to the schedule and fails to arrive on his due date of the 8th. Anderson will have until the third Test starts on the 16th to try and coax the little blighter out so he can return to the front line.
It’s been a tough month for Anderson in his bid to regain fitness in time for the beginning of this series. The bowler had to recover from a broken rib sustained on the training camp in Germany.
Anderson is fighting fit now though and a look at the odds cricket wise tells you that he could be integral to England’s chances of winning their first series on Australian soil in 24 years.