England are determined to remain united on and off the field as they try to muster a match-winning performance and avoid a 3-0 Test series whitewash in Dubai.
It was abundantly clear in both defeats against Pakistan over the past two weeks that England’s bowlers performed admirably and their batsmen woefully for the most part.
But they know there is nothing to be gained by ‘us and them’ divisions and James Anderson made it clear that he and his fellow bowlers are not about to take sides against the batsmen.
“At the end of the day, we lost the game and it reflects on the whole team,” said Anderson, who helped England bowl their ‘hosts’ out twice to no avail in Abu Dhabi last week.
“We don’t think of it as batters against bowlers.”
Pre-series predictions of attritional cricket, and a struggle to take 20 wickets for both teams, have not come to pass.
Pakistan, in particular, have scythed through England’s previously world-beating batting order with spin and seam thanks principally to Saeed Ajmal, Abdur Rehman and Umar Gul.
However, Anderson is not about to forget in a hurry the occasions during England’s rise to the top of the International Cricket Council Test rankings when it was the batsmen who provided the foundation for the bowlers to attack.
“There will be days when the bowlers won’t get the wickets and the opposition get 600 and we’re out in the field for two days,” said Anderson. “The batsmen won’t be happy with us then.
“It’s swings and roundabouts and we have every faith in our batsmen that they will come out strong in the next Test.”
After his side were bowled out for just 72 to lose inside four days at the Zayed Stadium, England coach Andy Flower stated that he and captain Andrew Strauss will not be afraid to drop a batsman if necessary for the final Test.
A clutch of middle-order mainstays have been ineffective on this tour and have been trying to work out where they have been going wrong. “That’s something that the batsmen have been discussing,” Anderson added. “But they have been fantastic for us over the last two years.”
The International Cricket Council have agreed to more than double the prize money for the annual No 1 Test team from 2013 in an attempt to increase the profile of the five-day game.
A total of £2.4m in prize money will be shared among the top four sides on April 1, 2013, 2014 and 2015. Previously, the No 1 Test team received £110,000 but in future will receive a minimum of £283,000 rising to £315,000 in 2015.