Anderson, who is now recovering after an injury, had bowled only four overs in the opening Test at Edgbaston. He felt that the home advantage was not used well enough by the England team.
England had to give up on the urn after succumbing to defeat against Australia at Headingley who are taking a 2-1 lead into the final test at Oval, which starts on Thursday. Australia will retain the series even if the Ashes is tied this year because they won it the previous year.
“Not really, if we’re being brutally honest,” answered Anderson when asked if the pitches provided enough assistance. “I think they’ve probably suited Australia more than us. I would have liked to have seen a bit more grass but that’s the nature of the game here. When you’re selling out – like Lancashire selling out five days of Test cricket – it’s hard not to produce a flat deck but, you know, that’s one of the frustrations from a player’s point of view. We go to Australia and get pitches that suit them. They come over here and get pitches that suit them. It doesn’t seem quite right.
“Even like last year – I thought they were good pitches here against India. I thought they weren’t green seamers but I thought they suited us more than India. We as a country or cricket team, cricket board, don’t use home advantage enough. As I said when you go to Australia, go to India, Sri Lanka, they prepare pitches that suit them. I feel like we could just be a little bit more biased towards our team.”
James lauded Australia’s bowling attack, though, especially their pace unit led by the wonderful Pat Cummins who is now the number one Test bowler and Josh Hazlewood. Both took 24 and 18 wickets, respectively, while managing a very strong economy rate. The edge the pair of Stuart Broad and Jofra Archer who have clinched 19 and 16 wickets respectively.
“Their bowlers have just been pretty relentless – so consistent in the areas they’ve bowled,” said Anderson. “Pat Cummins is the best bowler in the world because he hits the top of the off-stump at 85mph-plus regularly, and he’ got a really good Plan B – bowls a good bouncer. It’s quite simple what they do, but it’s really effective because they do it so consistently.”
England’s next Test assignment is against New Zealand, with four of two Tests beginning on November 20th. “That would be great if I’m fit for that,” said Anderson of the New Zealand tour. “If not, then South Africa would be next on the list. We’ll just have to wait and see. It’s been a really annoying couple of months with it.
“With the time pressure and this series trying to get it ready, it’s not been able to cope with that. So I want to give it time to heal. I don’t want to have to answer ‘how is your calf?’ ever again.”
“When I start this rehab, I’m going to try and investigate every possible avenue of what do I need to do at my age to keep myself in good shape. I feel in really good condition. I feel as fit as I ever have. It’s just the calf keeps twanging.
“I’ll look at how other sportspeople have done it throughout their careers to keep going into their late 30s. Whether there’s anything specific I can do, diet, gym program, supplements, whatever it might be. Because I’ve still got a real hunger and desire to play cricket. I still love the game and still feel like I can offer something to this team and still have the skills and can bowl quick enough to have a positive effect.”
“It’ll be an ongoing process through the rest of my career, trying not to eke out every last drop. I still feel like I can be the best bowler in the world. So as long as I’ve got that mentality I’m going to keep pushing myself.”
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