Ashes 2013: James Anderson refuses to believe England are favourites

James Anderson during an England training session © Getty Images

London: Jul 7, 2013

James Anderson refuses to give heed to the thought that England will start as ‘favourites’ in the Ashes 2013 series, as past experiences and bitter memories ensure that the pace spearhead doesn’t get overconfident.

Anderson believes the appointment of Darren Lehmann as the head coach in wake of Mickey Arthur’s sacking will make the Australians more determined.

“I still remember being part of the 2007 England team who were thrashed 5-0 by them at their place. I try to blank a lot of it out but I remember the hurt and try to use it. I know what it’s like to be written off and it gets you angry and determined, and that’s what Australia will be this time,” Anderson told the Daily Mail.

“They’ll be determined to prove people wrong and in appointing Darren Lehmann as their new coach, a man with a strong character who will definitely be up for the challenge, it has made our task harder,” he said.

Anderson added: “Even through the last two winning Ashes series we’re still trying to draw on the negatives, like scraping a draw in the first Test in 2009, then getting smashed at Headingley when we thought we’d all but won the series. In the 2010-11 series Down Under, remember, we were bowled out cheaply in the first innings of the first Test, then were hammered in the third, having taken a 1-0 lead.”

The right-arm pacer thinks that the team which will seize control of key moments will emerge victorious — and he isn’t interested to know who are ‘favourites’.

He said, “So I’m not interested in who are favourites. The team who win will be the ones who strike the key moments in each Test and in the series. When Monty [Panesar] and I batted out for a draw in Cardiff in 2009 we acted as if we’d won and Australia as if they’d lost. That mentality was carried into the next Test, which we won.”

“In that series, if you looked at the batting and bowling stats, you’d assume Australia had won the series. They didn’t because although they had better batting and bowling figures, we were the team that won the key moments. It will be the same again. I’m confident, we’re confident, but we know that Australia will be up for the fight and we have to make sure we don’t just get on top of them, but we stay on top,” Anderson concluded. 

The Ashes 2013 begins on July 10, Wednesday, with the first Test slated to start at Trent Bridge.