Jimmy can be the old head!

ALEC Stewart believes James Anderson can be the “old head” that leads a perfectly-balanced England bowling attack to Ashes glory this winter.

Thursday, 7th October 2010, 11:28 am

England haven’t won an Ashes series on Australian soil since the 1986-87 tour, but will arrive as the holders and on the back of six consecutive series victories in 2010.

Anderson (28) has been the rock around much of the England success this year, taking 40 wickets in eight tests at an average of 20.2.

But despite his impressive recent statistics, question marks still surround the Burnley paceman’s ability with the Kookaburra match ball used Down Under, with critics suggesting he will be unable to reproduce his domestic success.

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However former England captain Stewart believes both Anderson, and England, will produce the goods when the series kicks off in Brisbane on November 25th.

“If you are picking the bowling line up to start the first Test in Brisbane now, then it would be Graeme Swann with James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Steve Finn,” said Stewart, speaking as a cricket ambassador for Sportingbet.com.

“There is experience in Anderson and Broad and they have got youth in Finn, and Chris Tremlett has got Test experience even though he hasn’t been involved for a couple of years, so I don’t see there being any problems at all.

“But if you are picking it now it will be the XI that played the last Test at Lord’s against Pakistan just with Ian Bell coming in for Eoin Morgan.

“You have to perform wherever you play, but I don’t have a problem with the bowling attack at all.”

Despite having the Ashes in their possession following a 2-1 victory on home soil last summer, England will arrive at the Gabba for the first Test as the underdogs.

But Stewart is adamant England can bring the Ashes back from Australia for the first time in over 20 years.

“You want a well balanced side, which we have, and you want to cover all options on all fronts, whether it is batting, bowling, quick bowling, spin bowling and wicketkeeping.

“And I think England have done that, and if they leave Brisbane without losing that first Test match, they will keep the Ashes.”

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