England not weaker than 2012 team - James Anderson

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Anderson 'feels good' on injury return
First Test: Pakistan v England
Venue: Abu Dhabi Date: 13-17 October Start time: 07:00 BST
Coverage: Ball-by-ball Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra, Radio 4 LW, online, tablets, mobiles and BBC Sport app. Live text commentary on the BBC Sport website

James Anderson has rejected Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq's claim that England "may appear weaker" than when the sides faced each other in 2012.

Andrew Strauss, Kevin Pietersen, Matt Prior and Graeme Swann were among the England team which lost 3-0 to Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates in 2012.

They are no longer involved as England return to the UAE for three Tests.

"I wouldn't say we're weaker. I'd say we're less experienced," said 33-year-old England pace bowler Anderson.

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"The quality and talent that we've got in the side is easily a match for the side that came out here in 2012.

"We're fortunate we've got players that have played out here before and can offer experience to those guys that haven't. Hopefully that will stand us in good stead."

The first Test against Pakistan starts on Tuesday and the hosts will be without number three batsman Azhar Ali, who has a foot infection.

Anderson is expected to return for the match after missing the last two Tests of England's win over Australia in the summer with a side strain.

"I missed the end of the Ashes but I've played a couple of games for Lancashire and got into some form there and came through unscathed," added Anderson.

"I've not felt any issues at all so I'm raring to go."

However, former England captain Michael Vaughan believes the country's leading Test wicket-taker should not be picked for the first Test because his style of swing bowling is not best suited to conditions in the UAE.

"We've seen over the last year or so when Pakistan have played here conventional swing has not been that effective - it's come down to pace and spin," Vaughan told BBC Test Match Special.

"If that's the case I would question whether Jimmy Anderson would be better suited missing this game and someone like [Steven] Finn comes in with his extra pace."

Pakistan v England Test series schedule
13-17 October: 1st Test, Abu Dhabi
22-26 October: 2nd Test, Dubai
1-5 November: 3rd Test, Sharjah

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