If it was widely assumed the touring England party is exhausted, it’s now been confirmed by superstar bowler James Anderson.
The 39-year-old added four wickets to his Test career tally – already a record for most by a fast bowler in history – but it wasn’t his body language on the field that gave anything away.
It was his answer to an unexpected and somewhat bizarre question post-play that gave the best insight into the nightmare Anderson – and England – is living in Australia.
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The tourists have been beaten convincingly in Brisbane and in Adelaide, and are staring at another catastrophic defeat in Melbourne after losing four wickets in the final hour of Day 2.
Anderson fronted up to media after stumps.
The last question put to him was the trickiest and best of the lot.
“Are you enjoying this?” the reporter quizzed.
Anderson, looking a little stunned, smirked and replied, “the press conference?”.
He then gave the journalist exactly what was sought.
“Look, it’s been a tough tour so far. But it always is here, it’s never simple or plain sailing, there’s always stuff going on,” Anderson said.
“I’ve got the opportunity to put an England shirt on, so I’m enjoying that. I absolutely love doing that every time I get the opportunity.
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“We would love the results to be going better, and the performances to be better. But that’s something that can happen, we’ll keep working hard and hopefully it will get better at some stage.”
Anderson and Stuart Broad are England’s best two fast bowlers, ever.
They were bizarrely both left out of the series opener in Brisbane. They were recalled to play in Adelaide, but then Broad was again dropped for the MCG tie.
Anderson was asked whether he would have been fit enough to play at the Gabba, which England lost badly where they needed experienced fast bowlers.
“That’s a good question. I felt I was fit for that game,” Anderson said.
Anderson bowls Steve Smith
“But a decision was made that I miss the game. There’s no point talking about that now.
“I did feel a little bit rusty at Adelaide, didn’t feel in great rhythm throughout the game. That’s always the case, it’s difficult as a bowler to try hit the ground running all the time, no matter how experienced you are.
“I’m just happy that I’ve felt a lot better this game and I managed to get some wickets.
“Who knows if I could have played (in Brisbane) because I wasn’t picked, but I felt fit, yeah.”
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