The form of James Anderson will determine the success that England will experience on home turf this summer according to retired Test cricketer, Graeme Hick.
The former Worcestershire batsman – who recently undertook a role as Cricket Australia’s high performance coach – believes that the fast bowler is one of the best players in the world when performing in the playing conditions that befit the British summertime.
Speaking exclusively to GiveMeSport, the 48-year-old expressed his opinion that Anderson: “Is a very high quality bowler in English conditions.”
Hick went on to describe the influence of the nation’s second-highest Test wicket taker of all-time as: “Huge, a very important part of the England bowling attack and he has been for a few years now, and even more so in England.”
England face touring Sri Lankan and Indian sides this summer, looking to improve on their current ICC Test ranking of third.
When India last toured in 2011, England usurped their opponents to reach the summit of the world standings, but have since been overtaken by Australia and South Africa.
After experiencing an abysmal Ashes tour down under, the England side have made wholesale changes to their first choice line-up.
Some of those have been enforced, whilst others have been necessary. Nevertheless, James Anderson remains an integral cog in the engine of the team.
Whilst discussing the importance of the Lancashire seamer, Hick went on to add: “I think if Jimmy Anderson bowls really well throughout the summer then I think England will come out on top.”
Before facing the prospect of an epic five-match Test series with India, Peter Moores’ men must compete against the recently crowned World T20 champions.
Sri Lanka have experience in abundance, with the names of Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene and Tillakaratne Dilshan deftly decorating their scorecard.
Yet Hick also believes that the challenges lying shortly ahead are a positive for an ever-changing England team.
Harry Gurney and Chris Jordan are two examples of players who have recently worked their way into the limited-overs national sides, but Test positions are also up for grabs.
The void left by veteran squad members – such as Kevin Pietersen, Graeme Swann and Jonathan Trott – still needs to be filled.
And incoming arrivals to the Test arena will be given a baptism of fire if they do collect their maiden caps this summer.
Hick added: “I think it will be an interesting summer, watching England selection and how players perform.
“It’s a great opportunity for quite a few young England players to start their international careers.”
Players of the mould of Gary Balance and Joe Root are now faced with the opportunity to hold down places in the side that could guarantee them Test cricket for many years to come.
England have already got their summer underway, playing ODI and T20 cricket against Sri Lanka. However, their two-match Test series with Angelo Mathews’ side commences at Lord’s on June 12.
Meanwhile the highly anticipated showdown with India begins at Trent Bridge on July 9.