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."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Extras
indybest
Travel
Flocking round: Beyoncé, Madame Tussauds' latest waxwork, looking fierce in the park
travelIn a digital age when we have more access than ever to the stars, why are waxworks still pulling in crowds?
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Judi Dench appeared at the Hay Festival to perform excerpts from Shakespearean plays
tvJudi Dench and Hugh Bonneville join Benedict Cumberbatch in BBC Shakespeare adaptations
Sport
Is this how Mario Balotelli will cruise into Liverpool?
football
News
Ronahi Serhat, a PKK fighter, in the Qandil Mountains in Iraqi Kurdistan
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Poet’s corner: Philip Larkin at the venetian window of his home in 1958
booksOr caring, playful man who lived for others? A new book has the answer
Arts and Entertainment
Exhibition at the Centre Pompidou in Metz - 23 May 2012
art
News
Matthew McConaughey and his son Levi at the game between the Boston Red Sox and the Houston Astros at Fenway Park on August 17, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts.
advertisingOscar-winner’s Lincoln deal is latest in a lucrative ad production line
Life and Style
Pick of the bunch: Sudi Pigott puts together roasted tomatoes with peppers, aubergines and Labneh cheese for a tomato-inspired vegetarian main dish
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Alfred Molina, left, and John Lithgow in a scene from 'Love Is Strange'
film
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape