Anderson desperate to prove the critics wrong
James Anderson is motivated to prove wrong those who have written him off as too old as he closes in on his best year for England since 2010. Anderson’s first five-wicket haul in Australia in his 15th Test and fourth tour was one more notch on the list of accomplishments for England’s highest-ever wickettaker and took his tally for the calendar year to 47.
“Everything has clicked. I have felt in good rhythm all year. I feel like I am bowling as well I have and my body is in good shape,” he said. “People keep telling me I am about to finish and retire so I want to show them I still have wickets in me. I have shown that this week and hopefully that can continue for the rest of this trip.
“I don’t want to think about the future too much. I am loving playing with this group of blokes. As long as I am bowling well and doing myself justice on the field I am going to keep playing.”
When Anderson collapsed with a nasty groin strain in June this year, there were some doubts he would even still be playing by the time England left for Australia. But a brilliant summer followed, when he took his 500th Test wicket, and it must be a huge relief to Joe Root that Anderson is still firing so effectively. Not only do they need his bowling skills, but also badly need his willingness to go toe-to-toe with Australia verbally.
Butter would not melt when Anderson was asked about “bullying” from the Australians that he referenced in his Daily Telegraph column last week.
“They have been fairly quiet … surprisingly,” he said when asked about sledging in this Test. Anderson enjoyed winding up Steve Smith on day one in Adelaide, standing in his way at short mid-on as a tactic to wind up the Australia captain which has worked.
“It is about trying to get someone out of their bubble and unsettled,” said Anderson. “At that point in time Steve seemed more interested in chatting to me and Stuart [Broad] than focusing on his job. That is a job well done for us.”
Anderson knew he bowled too short on day one and it was the failure to capitalise with bat and ball that led to the fightback. “We were really annoyed with how we played on the first couple of days,” he said.
“We did not do ourselves justice in those two innings with the ball and the bat and we wanted to show we have good characters in this team to get ourselves back into games by fighting hard and playing well.”
Evergreen: James Anderson says he will continue to play as long as he is performing well