The Investec Ashes 2013 July 23, 2013

Anderson says England ambitious for 5-0 revenge

He knows what being humiliated in the Ashes feels likes so James Anderson wants to show no mercy in this series to avenge the whitewash of 2006-07

It has come to something when an England player is asked if he feels sympathy for an Australian opponent. But so relentless are the misfortunes afflicting the Australian team that one of the architects of their downfall, James Anderson, was asked just that.

On one hand it is understandable. Not only have the current Australian squad suffered poor results, they have seen their leading fast bowler withdraw through injury and the coach with whom they started the tour sacked and instigate legal action against their employer. And, all the time, it has become increasingly obvious they are confronted with a superior opponent. With eight more Tests looming between these teams before mid-January, there is a fear that things could turn ugly.

But, unsurprisingly, Anderson was pitiless. A member of the England side humiliated 5-0 in the Ashes series of 2006-07 - one of the lowest ebbs in England's Test history - Anderson has experienced the downside of a life in professional sport and knows that, if the boot was on the other foot, it would not stop kicking.

"I don't really feel any sympathy, to be honest," Anderson said. "Our job is to win games of cricket. We want to win the series 5-0 and we will be doing everything we can in each game to win.

"Memories like losing 5-0 have helped us since then. It's not a great place for a team to be, being on the end of one of those defeats, so everything we focus on is trying to win every game and hopefully if we keep doing that we will be in a good position at the end of the series."

The bad news for Australia is that Anderson feels that England are yet to play at their best. Their failure to finish off the Australian tail - 10th-wicket partnerships have currently accounted for nearly 30% of the runs Australia have scored in the series - and some fragility in England's top order - they were 28 for 3 and 30 for 3 in each innings at Lord's - should ensure there is no complacency and means several players go into the third Test with plenty to prove.

Anderson also insisted that, even if England went 3-0 or even 4-0 up over the next few weeks, he would resent being rested from an Ashes Test.

"We are happy with the cricket we are playing," Anderson said. "But there are improvements we can make. We were 30 for 3 in both innings at Lord's and we have not been perfect with the ball, either. Those 10th-wicket stands are a pain in the backside really and we want to end them.

"At the same time when we have been in tough positions we have been able to get out of them so that is positive and there have been some great individual performances as well. That is put to one side now. We have to concentrate on Old Trafford."

"Cricket is huge in the north of England and I hate Headingley so it is good to play a Test at Old Trafford."
James Anderson on going back to his home ground

Playing a Test at Old Trafford will be special for Anderson. He has only played three Tests on his home ground and was part of the delegation who lobbied for the club to be given planning permission despite a succession of challenges and is delighted to see Ashes cricket returned to Manchester.

"It will be lovely to play at Old Trafford," Anderson said. "It has been eight years since the ground had an Ashes Test so it is very exciting and I am looking forward to it.

"Cricket is huge in the north of England and I hate Headingley so it is good to play a Test at Old Trafford. There is so much history at the ground and it was in need of a lick of paint, so I think it is going to be an amazing atmosphere. It looks fantastic. There was a genuine threat to its future. If they didn't have the money they couldn't have afforded to do it up and it was looking a bit aged I guess."

Anderson, who was speaking at a Jaguar promotion day, is not convinced that the gap between the England and Australia teams is as big as some are suggesting. He admits that England have, at times, found it hard to gain breakthroughs with the ball, but they have retained their composure, stuck to their plans and, ultimately, won rewards for their efforts.

"We knew it was going to be difficult and we've found it hard at times, but we have always managed to stay calm," he said. "We have put a lot of pressure on them with the ball and that is all we can concentrate on. The rest is out of our hands. We just have to try to maintain the pressure we put them under.

"We've bowled very well and they have had partnerships in both games, but I think we've just stuck to our task really well. We've had good plans and executed them really well so far and not really let them get away from us and that is crucial to maintain going forward."

James Anderson was test driving the new Jaguar XFR-S. For more information visit

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Gopalakrishna on July 25, 2013, 19:29 GMT

    Australia certainly doesn't need Anderson's sympathy. Thy are certainly not as bad as England 2006-7 series. All Asutralia need is a single test match that they can re-discover themselves. England remember one thing you are playing a depleted Aussies and you all know arund same time last year you were thawrted by SA from #1 position, You guys are not invincibles and you can be defeted if oposition plays well. There is no problem if you predict for yourself you will beat OZ 5-0, but no takes for it.

  • Geoffrey on July 25, 2013, 12:48 GMT

    electric_loco_WAP4- sorry mate, Patto's had it. You'll have to replace him with one of the back-up greatest bowlers in the world. :)

  • Mark on July 25, 2013, 9:53 GMT

    England are doing reasonably well against the worst Aussies side to tour in 50 years. Makes one wonder how they would perfom against a half decent team. Who said they were the best bowlers in the world? Micky Arthur. lol

  • Nicholas on July 24, 2013, 20:18 GMT

    @Front-Foot-Lunge (post on July 24, 2013, 18:15 GMT): Ashley Giles "untested"? Really? He debuted no later than 1998... I think you've mixed quite a few series together there mate. Hey ho - results were all the same though eh!

  • Gaurav on July 24, 2013, 19:46 GMT

    3rd Test team: Warner Khawaja Watson Clarke Smith Hughes Haddin Siddle Harris Bird Lyon

  • j on July 24, 2013, 18:15 GMT

    Anderson remembers too how depleted that team were from injuries to all their key assets that had defined them the in the 2005 Ashes: Trescothick and Vaughn - Massive loss. Simon Jones, Read and a then surging Panesar before being ditched for the untested Giles. The momentous decision to give Flintoff the captaincy, strike bowler and almost every position in the field bar the wicket keeper. Plus of course, Australia then were amazing, with not just Mcgrath, Warne and a then in form Ponting, but Symonds also came good. Now of course, after almost six long years of English dominance over Australia in the Ashes, it is one heck of another story. Anderson, his action now reverted back to how it was before it's ludicrous re-modelling, stands as the most skillful in the world, and the best only behind Steyn. The 'Swann will tear you apart' song heard so loudly at every recent Ashes proves to be so true for Australia. England, as is known to all, are so much better than Australia.

  • Chris on July 24, 2013, 16:00 GMT

    Headingley is ugly, good history, but ugly. Hopefully that will change if the rugby stand end is redeveloped. The new pavilion apparently has appalling views of the wicket too, see Ponting's comments on the subject.

  • Owen on July 24, 2013, 15:36 GMT

    @A.Ak - 'we were 30-3 in both innings at Lord's and we have not been perfect with the ball either' - that's Jimmy totally forgetting that England didn't do that well is it?

  • shashwata on July 24, 2013, 15:04 GMT

    As for Jimmy's dislike for Headingley , it could be because of the Yorks-Lancs rivalry just as many others have pointed out. It can also be attributed to the fact that it is probably the only major test venue in England where Jimmy hasn't quite been at his best ,as his stats would suggest. Or it could just be plain , simple dislike for the ground for no particular reason , which is BTW why Headingley is my least favourite test venue in England as well.

  • shashwata on July 24, 2013, 14:55 GMT

    @Edwards_Anderson : Nowhere in the article does Jimmy say that he expects the Aussies to "roll down". All he is saying is that the England side really wants to win this series 5-0 , given what happened in the 2006 Ashes and that they are going to try their best to do that. I see no harm in his saying that. Also , most of the England players have actually been saying that they expect Australia to "be tough" and "to bounce back".

    @Harshad K Tiwari : I totally agree with Jimmy and many others here that England have been far from their best in the first 2 tests , especially with the bat. The chunk of the batting lineup in Trott , Cook and KP hasn't quite put up a really big score yet and I expect them to do just that over the next 3 matches. Their bowling has been satisfactory though. But we are yet to see the best of Swanny (eventhough he got 9 wkts at Lord's) and Broady (who has bowled very well but has been a tad unlucky ).

  • No featured comments at the moment.