James Anderson insisted he was prepared for more hard work in pursuit of Ashes glory after leading England to a nailbiting 14-run win over Australia in the first Test at Trent Bridge.
Anderson bowled 13 unchanged overs in Sunday morning,taking three for 29 on his way to innings figures of five for 73 and a match return of 10 for 158 as Ashes-holders England went 1-0 up in this five-match series.
At 231 for nine,Australia were 80 runs shy of their victory target of 311. But a last-wicket stand of 65 between Brad Haddin (71) and James Pattinson (25 not out) took them to the brink of a sensational win. It was no surprise when England captain Alastair Cook turned to Anderson after lunch.
And the 30-year-old Lancashire seamer duly obliged,albeit with the aid of the controversial DRS,to have Haddin caught behind by opposing wicketkeeper Matt Prior after England successfully challenged Pakistani umpire Aleem Dars original not out verdict.
I had the nerves going a little bit but I love bowling here,its been good to me over the years and Im happy that I could pick up some more wickets, said Anderson,who has now taken 49 wickets in seven Trent Bridge Tests.
Anderson,long the linchpin of Englands attack,admitted that maintaining a workload similar to Sundays stint across an entire series would be tough. If Im bowling 13-over spells its going to be difficult! But its Ashes cricket…Thats why we do the hard work in the gym to get out there and bowl long spells.
As soon as I got the ball I felt in control and I wasnt nervous because I knew what I was doing and I knew I could get that final wicket, added Anderson,whose first three wickets on Sunday,all came via catches by Cook at first slip.
We knew it was going to be difficult this morning,their tail is very strong so we knew we had to bowl well. But I found some rhythm this (Sunday) morning which the captain cottoned on to and gave me 13 overs so Im just delighted, said Anderson.
Jimmy,man with a plan
Cook praised Andersons stamina,as well as his expertise. We know all about Jimmys skill but his heart to keep running in on a hot day on a flat wicket was outstanding, said Cook. He swings it both ways on an immaculate length and makes it very hard to score. When a bowler hits a rhythm you just keep asking him if hes feeling alright, the opening batsman added.
Meanwhile,with the second Test at Lords starting on Thursday,England great Ian Botham urged Anderson,a bowler he compared to his old New Zealand adversary Richard Hadlee,be wrapped up in cotton wool.
Anderson is a captains dream, Botham told Sky Sports. He deserved to pick up that last wicket. I remember those dark days when the coaches decided to change his action — it was ridiculous. The guy is a natural bowler and its all his own action. Hes worked hard on it, added Botham,who like Anderson is one of only four England cricketers to have taken 300 Test wickets.
Former England captain Botham,who reserved many of his best all-round performances for Australia,added: He used to just want to be the quickest bowler in town,hes curbed that like Richard Hadlee and learned his skills and now bowls within himself. He has great control and that doesnt just happen.
Hes just terrific and I think England need to wrap him up in cotton wool,he needs to sit and do nothing and slowly wind up for the next Test on Thursday. Let him rest!
Hes just a magnificent bowler and goodness knows what will happen if he gets injured.