Ashes 2015: I can bowl even better than that, says England's talisman James Anderson

The fast bowler skittled Australia for 136 at Edgbaston

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The Independent Online

While James Anderson’s six wickets helped bring Australia’s soaring Ashes campaign crashing back to earth on day one at Edgbaston, the England bowler believes he can bowl even better.

The tourists were skittled for 136, despite winning the toss, as Anderson ripped apart Australia’s middle order in a terrific spell after lunch. However England’s leading wicket taker in Test cricket admitted that some poor shots from the opposition gave his side a helping hand and he believed the side could go on to bowl even better.

Asked where the performance ranked in his career, Anderson said: “I was happy with the way I bowled and getting the wickets, but I feel like I can bowl better than that.

“I think we can bowl better than that as a group. We got edges, there were a few poor shots. I think it’s good there’s that possibility of us bowling better than that, which is really exciting.

“Getting six-fer against Australia, in a crucial game, will rank highly for me on that level, but from a specific bowling point of view I think I can bowl much better.”

It was, however, a welcome return to some sort of form for Anderson after a wicketless last Test at Lord’s, as well as for the rest of England’s bowling attack, with Steve Finn particularly impressive following his two-year absence from the side.

 

“I thought we all bowled really well today, we were obviously disappointed after Lord’s and we’ve all gone away and worked really hard,” Finn said. “There was good communication today between me and Stuart Broad, we started off swinging the ball and we just thought that the pitch was moving a bit more off the seam so we tried to concentrate more on bowling straight, attacking the  off stump making the batsman play.”

Australia opener Chris Rogers, who top scored with 52, admitted that his side had given the advantage back to England with some poor shotmaking.

“You’ve got to give their attack credit, they bowled very well,” he said. “But there’s times when you’ve got to fight, you have to get through somehow, and you look at some of the dismissals and think maybe we shouldn’t have got out that way.”

Australia named an unchanged side at the start of play, meaning there was no recall for wicketkeeper Brad Haddin, who missed the last Test for personal reasons.

While Rogers refused to be drawn into the effect the decision had had on the dressing room, former Australia Test stars were unhappy with the selectors.

Former captain Ricky Ponting, who is working in England as a commentator, said: “I know he won’t complain about being dropped. He is a tough character but it doesn’t sit right with me.”

Matthew Hayden went even further, labelling the decision “outrageous”.

“What kind of precedent do the selectors want to set?” he said. “It doesn’t say much for the family-first policy if Brad puts his family first and all of a sudden he’s out. Sometimes the heart has to play a part in selection.”

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