Ashes 2013-14: James Anderson hails 'complete' performance

James Anderson said England's "complete performance" on the second day of the fourth Test showed their determination to salvage something from a disappointing Ashes tour.

Anderson took three wickets as England - trailing 3-0 in the series - reduced Australia to 164-9 in reply to their 255 for a lead of 91 runs in Melbourne.

"Days like that have been few and far between on this trip," said Anderson.


"If England's beleaguered support could smile as they have only with gallows humour on this disastrous tour so far, there will also be those for whom Friday's lonely success triggers a lament for what could have been."

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"We're really hungry to get something out of this tour and we showed that."

England suffered heavy defeats in the first three Tests to surrender the Ashes urn inside 14 days.

But a dramatic evening session, in which Australia lost six wickets for 54 runs, has put England in command of the fourth Test.

Anderson added: "I thought we fielded pretty well all day. We dived around a lot, we chased everything.

"I thought Alastair Cook set really good fields, we bowled to those fields and it was a really complete performance."

After losing their last four wickets for only 29 runs in the face of another inspired spell from Mitchell Johnson on Friday morning, England were rewarded for a disciplined bowling display on a slow, abrasive wicket.

"There wasn't much there, some reverse swing at some points in the day, but not much seam movement or anything else," said Anderson.

"So we had to stay patient, work really hard with the guy at the other end and try to bowl maidens and dots.

"As boring as it sounds, that was the way to go on that pitch - and it worked well for us."

The Analyst: Pitch causing batsmen problems

Former England batsman Geoffrey Boycott, one of their fiercest critics over the first three Tests, believes the tourists are now in "prime position" to win the match.

"It was a wonderful day's cricket from England's point of view - one we have been waiting for all series," Boycott told BBC Test Match Special.

"Four of the Australians played awful shots. It was sloppy, stupid batting to give their wickets away. You have to treat the opposition with respect and I don't think they have assessed this pitch properly.

"Barring miracles, we will win this Test match."

England's best bowling display of the series came in their first outing since the retirement of influential spinner Graeme Swann.

Anderson said the team were determined not to dwell on his departure.

"He was a big character in there, but there are other big characters in our dressing room," Anderson added.

"As harsh as it sounds ... he's a good friend ... but we've got to move on.


"England know they are every bit as good as Australia, and that they should not be 3-0 down. Having reduced Australia to 164-9 in reply to 255, England will feel a real mix of great pleasure at a good day's work and a sense that they should have played like this in the first three Tests."

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"It's sad to see him leave, but we've got to concentrate on the future now. We want to get something out of this Test and the next one."

Anderson also insisted that the retirement of Swann, a close friend, had not led him to contemplate his own future.

"Just because Graeme's gone ... I have got other friends in the team," he said, with a smile.

"I'd like to carry on for a bit. I'm really enjoying being part of this.

"It's been a disappointing tour, and I know we've got a lot more to show people - and I want to be a part of that."