No 'Swann' song yet for England's paceman Anderson
December 28, 2013, 12:05 am TWN
MELBOURNE -- England paceman James Anderson has no intention of following good friend Graeme Swann into retirement and said there were other “big characters” in the dressing room to compensate for the loss of the banter-loving spinner.
“I'd like to carry on playing for a bit, yeah,” the 31-year-old paceman told reporters after capturing 3-50 to help put Australia on the ropes at 164-9 after day two of the fourth Ashes test.
“Just because Graeme (Swann's) gone I have other friends in the team. 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 in our dressing room and I want to be part of it.”
Off-spinner Swann, 34, announced his shock retirement from international and first-class cricket midway through the Ashes series days after England had surrendered the coveted urn.
“(Swann) was a big character in our dressing room, but we have other big characters there as well.
“As harsh as it sounds, he's been a good friend, but we've got to move on and we want to get something out of this test match and the next test match.”
Comprehensively outplayed in a hat-trick of tests to lose the Ashes, England won the second day at the Melbourne Cricket Ground decisively courtesy of their bowlers, with Stuart Broad taking 3-50 despite a foot injury and all-rounder Tim Bresnan chipping in with two wickets.
Broad's display was especially lionhearted, having been injured by a searing yorker in Perth that dismissed him lbw and then trapped in front by the same bowler with the ball hitting virtually the same place.
“It does look uncomfortable, but (Broad's) coping very well with it and he's a brave little soldier and taking pain-killers and he did a great job for us today and thankfully he's fit enough to play for us,” Anderson said.
Monty Panesar has yet to take a wicket in the match since becoming England's number one spinner by default, but New Zealand-born all-rounder Ben Stokes made a telling contribution by having Shane Watson caught behind for 10.
That followed his fighting century in Perth, England's first of the series, and Anderson said it was a relief to have the youngster bowling to take the burden off the specialists.
“It does take a lot of pressure off, or certainly limits the number of overs we bowl. We don't have to bowl 20-plus in a day and it keeps us a lot fresher,” he said.
“Having someone like (Stokes) in the team is fantastic. Great for the balance and certainly with his talent as well it really helps.”
Despite enjoying his most rewarding day of the series, and coming off a punishing test in Perth where the Australian batsmen took to his bowling with relish, Anderson was underwhelmed by his own performance.
“I felt terrible today. I didn't have any rhythm,” he said.
“I'm sure I'll make a lot of the highlights for the wickets, but I felt really frustrated at times.
“I thought the other guys bowled brilliantly — Broady especially. So hopefully tomorrow we can finish them off quickly.”