ibnlive » Cricketnext

England can improve, says Ashes-winner Anderson

AFP
Aug 26, 2013 at 09:01am IST

James Anderson said he expected England to be even better in the return Ashes in Australia later this year after they wrapped up a 3-0 series win with a controversial final Test draw at The Oval on Sunday.

England, bidding to win four Tests in a home Ashes for the first time, needed 21 runs off 24 balls to reach their victory target of 227 when umpires Aleem Dar and Kumar Dharmasena decided the light was too bad to continue and ended the match to the disgust of a capacity crowd in south London.

"We know we can go to Australia and play even better," spearhead seamer Anderson told Sky Sports after starring in England's third straight series win over their arch-rivals.

England can improve, says Ashes-winner Anderson

Anderson said he expected England to be even better in the return Ashes in Australia later this year.

"It feels pretty good (to win the Ashes). It would have felt even better if we could have got the last few overs in there. I am delighted to have won the Ashes. Today was fantastic for the crowd. As it got closer and closer we really thought we could do it but unfortunately the light didn't hold out."

However, Anderson insisted: "We are going to cherish this moment because it doesn't happen very often."

Meanwhile England captain Alastair Cook reserved special praise for man-of-the-series Ian Bell, who scored 562 runs at 62.44 with three hundreds during this Ashes campaign.

"He was outstanding with his three hundreds at crucial times," Cook said. Every one of those guys in the team can be proud of what they've done."I knew we had the opportunity to win the Ashes here in England and I'm very proud of what the boys have done."

Meanwhile Bell, an Ashes-winner for the fourth time in his career, said: "Any time to win the Ashes is a special time.

"It's nice to contribute; going into the series I was probably light on a few runs. I was getting a lot of starts but to get hundreds helps the team win Test matches. As the series went on I felt better and better."We've had to fight for every win. We're looking forward to a nice break from Test cricket because it's been hard work."

Australia captain Michael Clarke, whose side have now gone nine Tests without a victory following a 4-0 series loss in India, said: "I think England deserve a lot of credit for the way they've played."

As for his teatime declaration at 111 for six, which gave both sides a chance to win the match, Clarke added: "We're here to try and win every game we played. We were outplayed during the series and couldn't get over the line."

England coach Andy Flower said Cook's captaincy, in a series where the opener struggled with the bat had been key to England's latest Ashes triumph.

"I think Cook's strong leadership was a key. The players need to trust and respect their leader. He is a man they all look up to and he has a certain conviction and inner strength that will serve English cricket well."

However, he added: "We must be better players by the time we take them (Australia) on in November."

Former Zimbabwe batsman Flower was coy when asked about British media reports Sunday he would resign following the return Ashes in Australia, simply saying: "We've got to enjoy the moment and don't look too far ahead. We have to really enjoy this evening."

But the way the match finished angered England and Wales Cricket Board chairman Giles Clarke.

"It's totally unsatisfactory the way the game ended -- the rules are clearly unacceptable and I expect (ICC chief executive) David Richardson to change it at the next ICC chief executives' meeting," Clarke said.

Latest

More from this section

PREVIOUS  Bad light robs England of 'thrilling' win: Press

NEXT  England celebrate Ashes triumph by urinating on The Oval pitch