Rewards come for Anderson

2013-12-27 13:09
James Anderson (AFP)

Melbourne - The rewards finally flowed for paceman James Anderson as England savoured one of the rare good days on their ill-fated Australian tour in Melbourne on Friday.

Disciplined bowling and fielding stifled Australia's scoring and with it the wickets tumbled to put the home side under pressure on the second day of the fourth Ashes Test.

At the close, Australia were 164 for nine, trailing England by 91 runs with Brad Haddin the home side's remaining hope on an unbeaten 43.

Leading the charge was the England pace spearhead Anderson, playing in his 91st Test match and in the midst of a difficult tour both personally and collectively for the former Ashes holders.

Anderson, 31, had his best day of the series, taking three for 50 and leading the way for the tourists as they bid to prevent Australia from sweeping the series 5-0 after already relinquishing the Ashes.

Up to Friday, Anderson had only taken seven wickets in the series and had been a largely peripheral influence in the series.

"I feel like I've been bowling okay. I've just not been getting the rewards," Anderson told reporters after the day's play.

"I work really hard in between games, certainly before this game as well, checking my seam position and if I am in the right place to swing it, if I am hitting the right lengths... make sure everything's in order going into the games.

"Hopefully if I can keep working as hard I can (and) get some rewards in the future."

Anderson said it has been a frustrating tour for him as leader of the England bowling attack.

"The frustrating thing is not getting the ball swinging as much as we would have thought and there has not been as much seam movement as there was last time here (2010/11 series).

"I thought I've bowled reasonably well but just no rewards."

Anderson, who said he has no plans of following teammate Graeme Swann into retirement, wants to finish a disappointing Australian tour on a high note.

"Days like today have been few and far between on this trip, and we're really hungry to get something out of this tour and I think we showed that today," he said.

"I thought we fielded pretty well all day. We dived around a lot, we chased everything. I thought Cookie set really good fields, we bowled to those fields and it was a really complete performance."

Anderson said he had given no serious thought to bowing out of top-level cricket following Swann's shock decision last weekend to quit mid-series.

"I like to carry on playing for a bit, yeah. Just because Graeme's gone, I have other friends in the team," he laughed.

"I am really enjoying being part of this team. It's been a disappointing tour and I know we have a lot more to show people and I want to be part of it."


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