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Cricket news - Dukes provides a 'glimmer of hope' for Anderson and Co.

The Dukes ball offering some swing in the practice game comes as an encouragement for James Anderson

Although the environment will likely be different to the icy temperatures set to engulf England this week, James Anderson, at least, a reminder of home-comfort in the first Test against the Windies in Barbados, which begins on Wednesday (23. January). When he is home, Anderson opened the bowling with the Dukes ball used for the series, which he hopes him and the other fast bowlers with a bit of joy.

The balls, slightly modified, from those in England used to last longer in the abrasive Caribbean conditions for the three-game series, instead of the Kookaburra which was previously used in Tests in the West Indies and England, which used to be in Sri Lanka before Christmas. After the testing of this tour, where the Spinner is rendered Anderson and the other seamers are little more than spare parts, England's fast bowlers finally, in the hope for some - all - help to you in the game. The Dukes ball can offer you that.

"The Dukes ball has moved around a bit and swung a considerable amount of time in the whole of the [warm-up] game, so that the encouragement," Anderson said. "At least there is a glimmer of hope for the U.S.-seam-bowlers. We hope to have a bit - just a bit - the air and keeps you interested for the game.

"It feels it can have an impact on the game. The minute you come out here, and there is the additional encouragement, it just makes you excited in the bowl and are already looking forward to the, hopefully, this will stay with us for the rest of the trip."

England's pace attack for the first Test at the Kensington Oval is likely to include Anderson, Stuart Broad and Sam Curran with Ben Stokes as fourth seamer. However, it is unclear who shares the new ball with Anderson. Curran, a melon, extracted all of the early swing, if there are some, opened the bowling in the first warm-up match, and it could be that he is not so in again this week.

That would mean that he is Wide to first change, something that captain Joe Root has considered, but not implemented. Since a disappointing ashes series last winter, Anderson's long-time new ball partner was diligently joints on his technique, first of all, with a change in its attitude, the hand, and now with a shorter, crisp run-up, which works well in last week's warm-up games. Broad willingness to adapt, even after so many Test wickets, has impressed Anderson.

"Since Australia I've not seen that someone is working as hard as he in [width] to your game," said Anderson. "It's a credit to [Wide], and he's got so many hard yards, not just to his run-up, but on his actions, trying to swing the ball away again.

"For me, it is all about the last six courtyards, building momentum up to the crease. He still has the same snap and the same oomph can definitely. I think the run-up has looked really good from here. It could be just a few years out to get out of it. A part of him thinks, 'why have I made this not done sooner?'"

This is Anderson's fourth tour of the West Indian Islands. He was an unused squad member in 2004, the only time in the last 50 years, in which England emerged victorious from a series in the Caribbean. "I have good memories of 2004," he said. "I didn't want to play, but I enjoyed the tour and experience the Caribbean. To see [Matthew] Hoggard hat-trick, [Steve] Harmison's seven for 12, Lara 400, these remain moments in memory. Every time you come here, it is an amazing place, so much history in the grounds, and certainly here in Barbados."

Given the struggles of the last two trips in 2009 and 2015, which England lost and drew respectively to take Anderson, West Indies lightly despite having a poor record of only three wins in their last nine test matches. "Whenever we come here, you get the feeling that the West Indies really want to beat England," he said. "It is something that is already deeply rooted in them, especially in the past, when England's heavy defeats suffered.

"You can see it in the players eyes, if you play against them, and that means that we have to be on top form to be able to try and challenge. We showed in Sri Lanka, we can adapt to any conditions. Our batters batted better than they have done, and our Spinner-totally thrilled with theirs. We have to do the same, again, to trump man for man we have to get. We know we have the talent to do it."

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