Skipper Alastair Cook heaped praise on “outstanding” James Anderson after the fast bowler guided England to a nail-biting 14-run win over Australia in the Ashes Test against Australia at Trent Bridge yesterday.
“Jimmy was outstanding. He always wants one more over - I think 13 was probably quite a lot in that first hour!” Asked if there was an over-reliance on Anderson, Cook said: “No, not at all.
He’s a world-class bowler and you sometimes use him in these situations when you know there’s a timeframe.
“He had an amazing rhythm in this game. “But (Stuart) Broad and (Steven) Finn have done outstandingly well for us over a huge amount of time, but it just happened to be Jimmy’s day and Jimmy’s game. Sometimes it happens like that.”
Anderson ended the contest with match figures of 10 for 158, and asked if it had been his best performance in an England shirt, he told Sky Sports: “Yeah I’d say so.
We knew it wasn’t going to be easy at the start of the day, but I thought the lads stuck to it and stayed calm when it was getting tough. I’m just delighted to get the win.”
He added: “I had the nerves going a little bit but I love bowling here, it’s been good to me over the years and I’m happy that I could pick up some more wickets.”
Asked if he could maintain the same levels of workload across the series, he said: “If I’m bowling 13-over spells it’s going to be difficult! But it’s Ashes cricket.
I love playing Test match cricket and the Ashes is right up there, and that’s why we do the hard work in the gym - to get out there and bowl long spells.”
Anderson showed admirable stamina as he bowled 13 successive overs on the final morning, his burst of three wickets for six runs helping to give him 10 in the match.
His final wicket was in keeping with a match littered with twists, turns and controversy, with a DRS referral needed before Brad Haddin (71) was ruled to have got a slight edge to Matt Prior behind the stumps.
“Australia fought incredibly hard and a lot of credit to them for the way those guys batted today, but we just hung in there incredibly well,” Cook said at the post-match presentation.
Ian Bell’s second-innings 109 also came in for praise from the skipper. “It was a real innings of character, determination and skill,” he said.