James Anderson, who joins BBC’s commentary team, is upbeat about the upcoming Hundred tournament. Though he will miss the on-pitch action, he says he feels it’s the best time for the younger cricketers to have a go at it. The England International admits that while he explored the idea of taking part in the competition as a player, he did not want to compromise his Test availability by getting injured.
Speaking at BBC’s media launch of the Hundred, Anderson says he expects England Test bowlers to have built up their workloads from the several rounds of Championships before they head to their first Test against India on August 4, soon after competing in the Hundred. The Hundred will see the cricketers bowl a maximum of 20 balls a night. With the two rounds of Championship games in the beginning of July and the Hundred, the cricketers are expected to shuffle between white and red-ball cricket.
Anderson says, “They might have to juggle their practice sessions and get a bit of red-ball practice in because obviously there are different skills that you use for red-ball and white-ball cricket.” However, he is confident the bowlers have got what it takes to succeed. “Most of the bowlers that we’ve got in our squad are experienced, and they’re international players who have to balance that – one-day cricket and red-ball cricket – throughout their careers anyway, [so] I think they’re pretty used to that.”
Despite his concerns over his career, he says he does not expect other players like Chris Woakes, Sam Curran, and Ben Stokes to perform poorly during the Hundred while attempting to avoid injuries ahead of a very demanding schedule. This gruelling schedule includes five Tests against India and five more in Australia, and a T20 World Cup in October.
Meanwhile, Graham Thorpe-England’s assistant coach believes that the Test team’s top-order batters would greatly benefit from playing in the Hundred- a sentiment that Anderson shares.
According to ESPN, Anderson goes on to say, “I think there’s definitely no harm in playing the Hundred and playing some white-ball cricket, having that freedom to go out there and try and hit the ball. Test cricket does have a way of trying to stifle you at times, and you can get a bit uncertain about your technique or movements and things like that. All the Hundred will do is encourage positivity: positive moments of the feet, positive shots, and I think that can only be a good thing.”
Catch The Hundred on BBC Two, radio, and online from July 21, and keep it there for more updates.