Warwickshire seamer Jimmy Anyon has outlined his intention to be a bowler that his captain can turn to regularly and rely on this season.
And, in his fifth full season on the Bears’ staff, the 25-year-old knows that is a role which now should be expected of him.
Since arriving at Edgbaston in 2004, Anyon’s input has been highly impressive at times but off-the-boil at others. Few players went backwards more than he during the chaos that was Warwickshire’s 2007 campaign.
Statistics can deceive but Anyon’s championship stats for the Bears accurately reflect his staccato career so far. In 2005: six matches, 12 wickets at 35.41 apiece. 2006: ten matches, 27 at 35.29. 2007: 14 matches, 32 at 44.50. Last season: seven games, 26 at 32.36.
That bowling average has to come down below 30. And this season, starting tomorrow when Warwickshire begin against Somerset at Taunton, the team, as well as Anyon himself, needs it to happen.
Anyon is hungry to oblige, having got injured last season in the very match in which his career-best six for 82 set up a championship win over Glamorgan.
“It was a shame I got injured because I was having a good season up to that point,” Anyon said. “I was taking wickets for the first time really and putting in some good performances.
“I dislocated a bone in my foot. The joint had gone out of place and there was some bruising and nothing could be done about it. The specialist said it was a rare injury. He hadn’t seen it before.
“But it put me out of the whole Twenty20 and a good few games after it. Then I came back and went over on my ankle just jogging. That put me out for the rest of the season.”
Now there is a chance. Anyon is likely to be in the XI at Taunton tomorrow. And he feels equipped to establish himself after relishing the pre-season trip to South Africa.
“I feel strong after we had a really good stay out in South Africa,” Anyon said. “That was a good workout for me and much needed. I have wanted to take on the role of senior player for a while. There is a lot of competition; that’s the way it should be and I am looking forward to this season.”