The Ashes 2021-22 – James Anderson sets sights on Steven Smith as road to the Ashes begins

After the cut-and-thrust of his duel with Virat Kohli in this summer’s India series, James Anderson says that he is setting his sights on the main man in Australia’s line-up, Steven Smith, as he prepares to embark on his ninth Ashes campaign and his fifth tour Down Under.

Smith proved to be England’s nemesis in each of the last two Ashes campaigns – the 4-0 victory in Australia in 2017-18, when he amassed 687 runs at 137.40, and the 2-2 defence of the urn in England in 2019, when he exceeded even that tally with 774 at 110.57, including twin hundreds in their opening Test victory at Edgbaston.

Anderson, however, has unfinished business in the Ashes, having limped out of the 2019 series after bowling only four overs in that same Edgbaston Test. But after relishing the renewal of his rivalry with Kohli last summer – a man whom he had not dismissed for seven years prior to his first-ball wicket at Trent Bridge in August – he’s confident of carrying the fight to Smith when their paths cross again at the Gabba on December 8.

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