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Ashes: Andrew Strauss backs James Anderson to shine

Third Ashes Test: Australia v England
Venue: Perth Dates: 16-20 December Start time: 0230 GMT
Coverage: Listen live on Test Match Special on BBC 5 live sports extra, Radio 4 LW & online; highlights (UK only) and day's review on the TMS podcast; live text commentary on BBC Sport website; live on Sky Sports 1; highlights on ITV4

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Strauss plays down bowler selection

England captain Andrew Strauss believes paceman James Anderson's return home to attend the birth of his second child has added to the whole squad's spirit.

"He has brought back that slightly euphoric feeling with him," said Strauss ahead of the third Ashes Test.

But Strauss warned that the Waca wicket in Perth is not likely to be a bowler's paradise as Anderson looks to add to his eight wickets in the series so far.

"I don't think it's going to zip all over the place to be honest," he added.

Anderson's return has coincided with the arrival of the players' wives and girlfriends on the tour and Strauss reports that the mood is "very happy" in the England camp.

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England lead the series 1-0 after an emphatic innings victory in the teams' second encounter in Adelaide and would retain the Ashes with a win in Perth.

But Strauss warns that any expectations of securing the urn before Christmas could prove England's undoing.

"I'm always aware if you start relaxing and think things are going well, this game has a way of coming back to bite you," he said.

"We have very much been emphasising the need to keep our feet on the ground and get ready for hard work again.

Anderson rejoins England's third Test preparations

"Even though the Adelaide game was quite one-sided, the first Test in Brisbane was a very tightly-fought game and we expect more of that.

"We've got to be just as desperate as Australia because if we're not, we'll come unstuck.

"If Australia were wounded in Adelaide and have a point to prove, we've got to be ready to counter that."

Australia have recalled Phillip Hughes to their squad for the match and called up spinner Michael Beer.

Beer could become the second Australian spinner to earn a debut in the series after Tasmania's Xavier Doherty was brought into the side for the opening match.

"We had a decent look at him against Western Australia and he looks like a decent bowler," said Strauss.

"He is going to have those nerves of making his debut and that is an opportunity for us to exploit perhaps.

"Last thing we want to do is underestimate any of their players, Australia is a strong team and this time will be no different," he said.

England have previous experience of Hughes, who scored 53 runs in three innings in the 2009 Ashes in England before being dropped for the rest of the series.

"We certainly looked at some old footage of him and had a look at him since and I think he has made a couple of technical adjustments," said Strauss.

"But it is always a hard thing coming in and opening the batting in a Test match and we have to make it as hard for him as possible."



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see also
Tremlett gets nod for Perth Test
15 Dec 10 |  Cricket
Jonathan Agnew column
15 Dec 10 |  Cricket
'Fresh' Anderson ready for Perth
14 Dec 10 |  England
England seek win to retain Ashes
14 Dec 10 |  Cricket
Anderson returns to see new baby
10 Dec 10 |  England
Broad to join Test Match Special
13 Dec 10 |  Test Match Special
Prior ton salvages England draw
12 Dec 10 |  England
England complete Adelaide triumph
07 Dec 10 |  Cricket
England in Australia 2010-11
08 Oct 09 |  Cricket


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