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The Ashes: England bowler James Anderson excited by Old Trafford Test

James Anderson: Looking forward to playing in the Old Trafford Test

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James Anderson is looking forward to stepping out on his home wicket for the first time in an Ashes Test.

The Lancashire paceman - who is just five wickets short of becoming England's second most successful Test bowler - is set to spearhead the attack against Australia at Old Trafford on Thursday.

The 30-year-old from Burnley was only a spectator the last time Manchester hosted an Ashes Test in 2005, when Brett Lee and Glenn McGrath batted to the bitter end to defy the odds and secure a nail-biting draw.

Now Anderson cannot wait to sample that special Ashes feeling for himself as England look to build on their 2-0 series lead.

"I'm very excited - I've not played an Ashes Test here before," he said. "I was fortunate to get to one of the days here in 2005 and the atmosphere was incredible so I can't wait to get going on Thursday.

"The whole area is excited about having Test cricket back - the region is cricket mad - and especially an Ashes Test."

Transformation

Old Trafford has undergone a complete transformation in the last few years, with new grandstands erected and the wicket moved through 90 degrees.

The change - brought about to prevent players having their visibility impeded by the setting sun - has resulted in the pitch seeming to favour spin bowlers more than before the switch.

James Anderson takes a press conference at his home ground, Emirates Old Trafford, ahead of the third Ashes Test

However, Anderson still expects the pitch to have plenty of life for the pacemen.

"In the past the wicket has been renowned for quite pacy and with bounce," he added.

"It has changed slightly in the last few years but hopefully it will have a bit of pace because that's something that's been lacking in the first two games for the seamers.

"With Monty (Panesar) in the squad we've got plenty of spin options and plenty of seam options so we've covered every base."