Anderson upbeat despite spin-friendly pitches
Dubai: England spearhead James Anderson has denied seamers are discouraged by the spin-friendly pitches here, saying he was fully focused on how to win the third and final Test against Pakistan starting on Friday.
Spinners have dominated Pakistan`s wins in Dubai in the first Test and in Abu Dhabi in the second with 34 of the 40 wickets going to slow bowlers.
Off those, Saeed Ajmal has taken 17 wickets, Abdul Rehman 12 and Mohammad Hafeez five.
England`s left-arm spinner Monty Panesar took seven wickets in the second Test, while his spin partner Graeme Swann has fetched nine.
But despite these statistics, Anderson refused to accept the spin-friendly nature of the pitches was discouraging for fast bowlers.
"I don`t think so," Anderson said on Wednesday.
"Seamers have got plenty of wickets. (Stuart) Broad bowled well in the last game and Umar Gul got four wickets in the first, so it is just that the spinners have outshone us in the first two Tests."
Broad, who took 4-47 in the first innings of the second Test, has taken eight wickets in the series, while Anderson`s tally stands at five.
Anderson said he was happy with England`s bowling performance to date.
"Our job is to get 20 wickets in any Test match and we thought it might be a difficult job here but probably we have exceeded our expectations in that department, so we are pretty pleased," said the 29-year-old.
Anderson said he believed England had some issues to address, the priority being their batting weakness against spin bowlers, before this year`s tours to Sri Lanka and India.
"I think there are a few important issues we are trying to come across in the next Test, the biggest thing for us is that we have two other tours in the subcontinent and that`s for us a big thing.
"We also have a one-day series coming up so to take a bit of momentum into that will be useful as well," said Anderson of the four one-day matches and three Twenty20 internationals that follow the Tests.
Anderson insisted that the mood in the England camp was good despite the two losses.
"I think the mood is very good considering the position we are in, in this series. We are concentrating on how to go about winning this last game," said Anderson, who has taken 245 wickets in 65 Tests.
"We are open in this group and the guys have been open and honest."
Meanwhile, batsman Ian Bell was forced to miss training on Wednesday after falling victim to a stomach bug but team management said he is likely to resume training to Thursday.