James Anderson is confident he can still improve

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James Anderson can celebrate his birthday with six more Test wickets to add to his national-record tally - but he believes he can bowl much better than he did for his Ashes-best figures at Edgbaston.

Anderson, who endured the rare experience of a wicketless Test as Australia levelled the Investec series at Lord's, was back with six for 47 in the tourists' 136 all out on day one of the third Investec Test.

Yet after England had replied already with 133 for three, he admitted he could have been even more clinical in often overcast conditions and on a pitch which offered seam movement too.


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"I was happy with the way I bowled, but I feel like I can bowl better than that....and I think we can bowl better as a group.

"We got edges. There were a few poor shots."

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Only Chris Rogers (52) resisted Anderson, Steven Finn and Stuart Broad for long - before Ian Bell (53) briefly delighted his home crowd and demonstrated that more runs may not have to be so hard-earned by England.

Anderson, 33 on Thursday, can therefore hope to spend a few hours with his feet up but will be contemplating too how he could still improve.

He added: "I think it's good that there is that possibility of us bowling better than that - which is really exciting.

"Obviously, getting six-for against Australia in a crucial game will rank highly for me on that level.

"But from a specific bowling point of view, I think I can bowl much better."

Rogers too hinted that Australia perhaps contributed themselves to Anderson's outstanding figures.

"I read a little bit and saw he had copped it a little bit for not performing as well as he could have (at Lord's)," said the opener.

"But you get conditions like this, and he comes into his own.

"He bowled very well, but I don't think we played him as we possibly could."

Anderson may have minor qualms about his own performance, but can rest easy that he has more than done his bit - after a mid-series tutorial with England's bowling coach Ottis Gibson.

He said: "He thought I was just putting the ball there during the Lord's game....(so) I worked on finishing my action a bit more.

"After getting no wickets, obviously the confidence takes a bit of a hit.

"We were all disappointed with the way we performed at Lord's.

"But having a week away has done us a bit of good, I think. We were all refreshed. All raring to go, knowing we could play better."

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James Anderson (cricket)
England cricket
The Ashes

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