Sunday 16 December 2018

Anderson's eyes on 2019 after Ashes hammering

England veteran James Anderson Photo: Getty Images
England veteran James Anderson Photo: Getty Images

Jonathan Liew

James Anderson hopes the pain of England's 4-0 defeat against Australia will spur him on to an Ashes swansong in 2019.

Anderson will be 37 during the next Ashes series, and in all likelihood has played his last international cricket in this country. But he insisted that the hunger was still there to retain his place in the side and regain the urn next year.

Certainly, if Anderson is beginning to feel his age, it has not been visible in his performances.

Despite delivering 223.3 overs - the most he has ever delivered in a Test series - he was England's leading wicket-taker by a distance, with 17 wickets at an average of 28. Not that it made the swill of defeat any harder to chug down.

"All the guys in the dressing-room are hurting as much as I am," Anderson said. "We all thought we could challenge Australia. It's tough - we've known for a few weeks that they're going to lift the urn, but seeing them do it in person was tough to watch.

"I do think it's been closer than 4-0. We have been on top in some games, if not all of them.

"We've just not capitalised on the key moments. Getting to 60 or 70 with the bat is not good enough. And with the ball, it's all very bowling well for 15 or 20 overs. But 25-30 overs can be the key overs for a bowler, that's when you've got to try to stay at your best."

Attention now turns to the 2019 Ashes, where England will attempt to win for the fifth consecutive time on home soil. And Anderson said the prospect of avenging this defeat made him all the more determined to nurse his body through the next 18 months.

"That feeling should make you want to win the Ashes back in 2019, and I'm going to do everything I can to be available for that series," Anderson said. "

Joe Root's bravery was in vain as England slid to an innings-and-123-run defeat in the final Test to complete their miserable Ashes campaign as 4-0 losers.

Root spent much of the morning in hospital suffering from severe dehydration and was unable to rejoin his team's rearguard at the SCG as they resumed on 93 for four - still 210 runs short of making Australia bat again.

The England captain did continue his innings an hour later, after his replacement Moeen Ali was dismissed, but could not do so again following the lunch break as the tourists subsided in his absence to Pat Cummins (four for 39) and finished 180 all out.

Elsewhere, Vernon Philander's career-best six for 42 inspired South Africa to a 72-run victory over India in the first Test in Cape Town. Eighteen wickets fell on the fourth day as the visitors failed to chase down a tally of 208.

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