‘We’ve got a lot of improving to do as a side’ – James Anderson reflects on England’s forgettable Test run in 2021

 ‘We’ve got a lot of improving to do as a side’ – James Anderson reflects on England’s forgettable Test run in 2021

James Anderson (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)

Veteran pacer James Anderson reckons that England still need to make a lot of improvement in the game’s longest format after they ended up losing the Ashes series to arch-rivals Australia. Joe Root & Co. have failed to perform to their potential so far and are 0-3 down in the five-match series.

England had a good start in the longest format of the game in 2021 when they blanked Sri Lanka 2-0 and humiliated the mighty Indian team by drawing first blood in the away series in Chennai. However, in what was a remarkable turnaround thereafter, the Virat Kohli-led side showed the visitors why they are the best in Test cricket as they not only went on to win the next three games comprehensively but also eliminated England from the ICC World Test Championship final race. From there, England continued to slide continuously in what eventually turned to be a forgettable year.

A few months later, England lost the home series 1-0 (2) to the eventual WTC champions New Zealand before being outclassed by a determined Indian team. While they did manage to salvage pride by winning the Headingley Test, they were no match for the reigning number one Test side at Lord’s and Oval. The hosts were already 1-2 down before heading into the fifth and final Test at Manchester before the contest was rescheduled at a later date due to COVID-19 concerns.

“I think the biggest thing I’ve learnt, especially from Ashes defeats over the years, is maybe you don’t need to look too deep into it and start changing the wheel,” Anderson told Fox Cricket.

“We’ve got a lot of improving to do as a side, but I think we’ve got to be realistic as well. We’ve got some talent in this team, we’ve got a lot of young players in the team who are still learning their trade, so we’ve got to try our best to keep improving everyday.

“Winning is a habit, that’s the reason when teams come here and get behind the eight-ball, when teams go 1-0, 2-0 down, it’s very difficult to turn that round because you see Australia, when they get a foot on the throat, they never take it off, or it’s difficult to wrestle that momentum back and that’s our challenge this next couple of weeks.”

Rinish William

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