Ashes 2023: We will still set attacking fields, says James Anderson as rain delays start of Day 5

By India Today Sports Desk: England fast-bowler James Anderson has said that they will continue to set attacking fields against Australia. Rain played spoilsport once again and delayed the start of play on the final day of the first Ashes 2023 Test at Edgbaston.

Ashes 2023: Full Coverage

Speaking to BCC Sport on Day 5, Anderson said England will continue to set attacking fields and have catchers in position if and when the opportunities arise. Australia need 174 runs to win with seven wickets in hand on Day 5.

“I think we will still set attacking fields. We kept the fielders up. Even yesterday the field was up. We want those catchers in play if the chance comes. What we are asked to do is entertain and send people home happy, and we have done that for four days. If we don't do that so be it,” said Anderson.

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He went on to say that the team is trying to do something special in Test cricket, while echoing spinner Jack Leach’s words that there might be better teams that them but none braver. Anderson will be crucial for England’s success with overcast conditions in play on Day 5. The experienced campaigner claimed his 1110th first-class wicket earlier in the match.

“Nobody will be more disappointed if we don't win. The process has not been worrying about the outcome. We are trying to do something special. We have made the running for four days and in control. We need seven wickets to win a Test match and if it doesn't come off it doesn't. Jack Leach said recently there might be teams better than us but nobody braver,” Anderson added.

Anderson also touched upon spin-bowling all-rounder Moeen Ali’s finger injury, saying he’s sore but will have to push through the pain barrier on Day 5. Moeen suffered a deep gash on his finger having come out of retirement to represent England in the first Ashes 2023 Test.

“I think he's sore but he'll bowl definitely. We have a 10-day break for it to recover and heal. We need a push from him to go through the pain barrier. We do need him and it is turning out there. I think he's sore but should be able to bowl,” said Anderson.

England will be hoping to bowl the visitors out and take a 1-0 lead in the five-match Ashes 2023 series at home.

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