James Anderson is just 3 wickets away from 500 victims in Tests    Getty Images (File photo)
James Anderson is just 3 wickets away from claiming 500 Tests victims Getty Images (File photo)

England bowler James Anderson says his side already have half an eye on the upcoming Ashes series ahead of this weekend’s third and final Test against West Indies. England and West Indies face a series decider at Lord’s after the tourists bounced back from a first-Test pasting at Edgbaston to record a five-wicket triumph at Headingley last week. With England’s next Test match a series-opener against Australia at The Gabba in November, Anderson says it is vital his side end the summer on a high.

“You’re always trying to win Test match series,” he told Sky Sports News on Tuesday. “It’s very important to try to build momentum and with this team going forward I think we really need to get some momentum going as it’s an important winter for us. We’ve done some good things over the few months, or maybe 12 months, but not quite got that consistency going yet and that’s something that we’re really striving for”, he added.

Having been taken by surprise at Headingley, Anderson says England will be primed for action at Lord’s. “It was disappointing for us after such a performance at Edgbaston. We thought we could build on that and close out the series at Headingley. As bowlers we were confident we could bowl them out, but full credit to the West Indies — I thought they played fantastically well that last day. I thought the West Indies came back very strong, which we expected them to do, and we didn’t play at our best at all, which is really frustrating for us as we are trying to build momentum. But it makes for an exciting Test match here, a decider. That extra pressure will find out a bit more about people’s character and things like that so it should be an exciting week”, Anderson said.

Anderson is just three wickets short of 500 in England Tests, but he says he will not allow himself to be distracted by personal milestones. “It’s obviously nice. The fact I’ve played for long enough to get this close to 500 is something that I’m very proud of,” he said. “But to be honest, I do try to put it to the back of my mind. 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.”