No excuses from honest Jimmy Anderson as England demotion sinks in

Paceman says England's mindset has not been right and admits it is a wake-up call for bowlers

For Jimmy Anderson yesterday there were no excuses. He did not seek to blame others for England's disappointment in losing the Investec Test series against South Africa.

He absolved the absent rapscallion Kevin Pietersen from any responsibility for the defeat in the thrilling third Test, which ensured a 2-0 result in favour of the tourists and an exchange of places in the ICC Test rankings. South Africa are the new No 1, England have slipped to No 2 and it could become much worse if they lose away to India this autumn.

Somewhere along the line, it has gone horribly wrong for the team in which Anderson, as the fast bowler who leads the attack, was instrumental in taking to the stars. Since then, they have been plummeting back to earth with six defeats in 11 Test matches this year.

"There is a slightly different mentality when you are trying to get to No 1 rather than being No 1," said Anderson yesterday as England's demotion sunk in. "Teams have different approaches towards how they play against you and maybe we needed a different mindset to the one we had. We have not quite got it right whatever it might be."

Anderson gave unequivocal support to Andrew Strauss, the captain of this team for almost four years, whose position is now under the closest scrutiny. He had a wretched series with the bat, scoring 107 runs in six innings, and committed the cardinal sin of getting out after getting in. He is also at odds with Pietersen, whose influence on the team continues to be baleful after his dropping.

Anderson said: "To be honest, Straussy has got so much respect as a captain and a leader. We very much respect his decisions and we will back him to the hilt with whatever he and the ECB decides. He has been pivotal in everything we have achieved, he is a huge part of our team and bigger than people realised. As players I can speak for everyone and say we hope he carries on for a few more years yet."

He sounded as though he had been given leave by the dressing room to say precisely that.

The series has provided a salutary lesson to the bowlers, whose vaunted reputation has been severely diminished by the superior manner in which South Africa bowled.

"It was a huge wake-up call for this bowling attack," said Anderson. "Another thing that can detract from your performance when you get to No 1 [is that] you can start believing your own hype and own press. We have been truly outbowled in this series and it shows we have got a lot of work to do."

England also dropped nine catches over the three matches, including two vital ones in South Africa's second innings at Lord's on Saturday. Anderson said: "In the run-up to becoming No 1 we took those blinding catches that make you the best side, but we have not even held on to the simple ones in this series."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence