'I don't feel sympathy for Australia'

'I don't feel sympathy for Australia'

England fast bowler James Anderson does not feel sorry for Australia and has said his team wants to win the Ashes 5-0.

“I don’t really feel any sympathy. We want to win the series 5-0, so we will be doing everything we can in each game to win,” Anderson was quoted as saying by the Guardian on Tuesday.

England, who lost the Ashes 0-5 in 2006-7 in Australia, have a good chance to take revenge after going up 2-0 in the current series.

“Memories like that 2006-7 tour have helped us, certainly in the last couple of Ashes. I’m sure they will be in this one. Being on the end of one of those defeats is not a great place to be as a team,” he remarked.

Anderson, the joint highest wicket-taker in the series with Gramme Swann, will be more than happy to win the third Test at Old Trafford, his home ground, starting on August 1.

“Obviously we’re in a great position and we’re happy with the cricket we’re playing, but there’s clearly improvements we can make.”  Anderson expects Australia to show plenty more fight and feels England have to put in their best to clinch Ashes thrice in succession.
“We knew it was going to be difficult and we’ve found it hard at times but we have always managed to stay calm. We have put a lot of pressure on them with the ball and that is all we can concentrate on. The rest is out of our hands, we have to try to maintain the pressure,” he said.  Anderson said the team were optimistic Kevin Pietersen would be fit for next week’s third Ashes Test at Old Trafford.

Pietersen, arguably England’s most talented batsman, was off the field when the side completed a 347-run win over Australia in the second Test at Lord’s on Sunday to take a 2-0 lead in the five-match series.

The South Africa-born shotmaker tweeted on Tuesday he was “stuck on a sofa tightly fastened to an ice machine” in a bid to be ready to play at Manchester’s Old Trafford where the third Test starts on August 1.  And Anderson said: “As far as I know it was a strain so we’ll keep our fingers crossed that he’ll be fine for the Old Trafford Test.’’

“For him more than most, the next 10 days will be crucial, a lot of rehab and trying to get himself fit for next week — which we’re all hoping he will be,’’ he added.

There were no such worries for Pietersen’s fellow England batsman Joe Root, who made a commanding 180 in the second innings at Lord’s.  “He’s been amazing,” said Anderson of the 22-year-old Yorkshireman. 

“There’s a lot of pressure on this series and for someone so young to take it in his stride, it’s a great credit to him — he seems to thrive off it, almost.’’

“The way he has dealt with it will stand him in good stead for the future and I’m sure he’s got a big future ahead of him,’’ Anderson added. The next Test takes place at Anderson’s Lancashire home ground and he expects the pitch there to be similar to those in the first two Tests, aiding reverse swing and providing plenty of turn for off-spinner Graeme Swann, who took nine wickets at Lord’s.

“I can’t imagine it’ll be too different from what we’ve had in the first two games, so Swanny should be involved at some point,” said Anderson.

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