James Anderson believes England have learned their lesson in the United Arab Emirates and expects a better showing when they return next month to face Pakistan.
On their last visit to the Middle East in 2012 England were comprehensively beaten 3-0 in the Test series, passing 200 only twice in six innings with the bat.
Much criticism was levelled of Andrew Strauss’ team at the time regarding their ability to deal with spin, but Anderson feels Alastair Cook’s side are a wiser outfit.
“It will be a valuable experience for us that last time we were there – we’ve got a few guys that were there then, obviously it didn’t go very well losing 3-0,” Anderson told ecb.co.uk during his comeback from injury.
“We know what to expect this time around and I think it’s very important for us as a team – obviously we’ve had a decent summer in the Test form of the game – to continue the improvements, continue the form and the atmosphere that we’ve got at the moment.
“People will say we played okay in the summer beating the Aussies, but a real test will come when we go away first to Dubai and then to South Africa after that.”
Anderson is currently appearing for Lancashire in their top-of-the-table LV= County Championship Division Two clash with Surrey, and had a good opportunity to see one of England’s new faces in action.
Zafar Ansari’s impressive season at the Kia Oval has seen the spin-bowling all-rounder included in the Test squad, and Anderson had a lengthy look at the left-hander as he made 99 at the top of the order on day one.
“I got a long look at him today,” added Anderson. “He played well; there were some testing conditions up front.
“I’m not sure he’s an opener by trade but he knuckled down well and got through the tough period to get a decent score so he looked pretty good today.”
Anderson has been absent since the third Investec Test of England’s Ashes triumph with a side strain, but feels in good condition ahead of next month’s tour.
“It was good to be back,” he continued. “It’s always frustrating when you’re not out on the field, but it’s good to be back playing and back playing for Lancashire as well.
“Everything feels fine. I’m sure I’ll be stiff in the morning but right now everything feels pretty good.”
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