England's James Anderson claims the relentless international schedule this year had started to leave him jaded.
Re-energised Anderson ready to spearhead the fight back
England's James Anderson claims the relentless international schedule this year had started to leave him jaded but now he is "re-energised" and ready to stave off a seventh successive one-day defeat. Anderson was rested for the fourth and fifth NatWest Series losses to Australia, after a summer which has seen some players contest two Test and one-day series and the World Twenty20.
England, with Anderson in tow, will head to South Africa for the Champions Trophy next week as the packed calendar continues, but first up is one final ODI at Durham today. Victory for the tourists would make England the first team to lose a one-day series 7-0. But Anderson believes the short rest has left him ready to lead the fight back. Four wickets and a run out in the 111-run defeat at Trent Bridge on Thursday suggest the break did him good.
"It can be quite monotonous when you're just practising, playing, practising, playing all the time, and having a rest broke that up," Anderson said. "Whenever you play a five-Test series, it's always going to make the season feel long, then when you've got seven ODIs at the end, it makes the schedule even more packed. "It has been a long summer, but that's what you have to expect as an international cricketer these days.
"The rest freshened me up a bit, body and mind, and when I joined up with the squad again I was really looking forward to the game. "We're representing England and it's always a huge honour to do that every chance you get. But the rest was just long enough, I felt re-energised." Anderson called for his teammates to treat today's game as a one-off warm-up for the Champions Trophy rather than focus on recent results. "Obviously we don't want to lose 7-0. There'll be a lot of pride to play for. We're very disappointed with the way we've played in this series, we've never really clicked as a team," he said.
"But we've got the Champions Trophy to look forward to now as a fresh start. We need to use this as a warm-up game for that. "We have to try to forget as much as possible that we're 6-0 down and make sure we put in the performances we're capable of." The series win means Australia are back on the top of the world one-day rankings. A win today will help retain that status going into next week and Australia all-rounder James Hopes admits completing a whitewash is a scenario they would relish.
"We heard after the game that 7-0 has never been done before so that's a bit more of a motivation," he said. "We don't want to go to the Champions Trophy losing the last game before that. "We are in quite a tough pool against Pakistan, India and the West Indies so we have to go there winning and 7-0 against England - there's nothing better than that." Meanwhile, the Pakistan captain Younus Khan suffered a fracture on his finger during a practice game against Sri Lanka in Benoni, South Africa.
Khan hopes to play but an assessment is due tomorrow. * PA Sport