Saturday 18 November, 2017

Anderson: West Indies decider good Ashes preparation

England bowler James Anderson.

England bowler James Anderson.

England veteran James Anderson hopes they can use the pressure of a series decider against the West Indies as good experience for the Ashes.

The three-Test series is in the balance ahead of the Lord's fixture, which begins on Thursday, after West Indies fought back from an innings defeat to win by five wickets at Headingley thanks to a stunning day-five batting performance from centurion Shai Hope.

England are licking their wounds after failing to bowl out the Windies in Leeds, having set them 322 to win with Joe Root's bold day-four declaration.

Anderson hopes they can use the added pressure of an unexpected series decider in their favour, however, with an Ashes tour the next assignment for Root's men.

"Obviously, it was disappointing for us after a such a good performance at Edgbaston," he told Sky Sports.

"We thought we could build on that and try and close out the series at Headingley but West Indies came back strong as we expected them to.

"We didn't play at our best at all which is frustrating for us as we're trying to build momentum going into a big winter.

"But it makes for an exciting Test match here - a decider - and with that extra pressure we'll find out a bit more about people's character and things like that so it'll be an exciting week."

England's leading wicket-taker needs three more scalps to join a select group of five men with 500+ victims.

But Anderson says collective success is his priority, rather than his own stellar achievements.

"The fact that I've played long enough to get this close to 500 is something that I'm very proud of but, to be honest, I do try to put that to the back of my mind," he added.

"I've got a job to do this week - we desperately need to win this Test match to win the series. So I'm going to be focused completely on doing my job for the team when we get out there on Thursday."