'The cream always comes to the top'
James Anderson blended comedy and gravity after England’s emphatic victory at the SCG, and in jest touched on a truth that explains the tourists’ 3-1 series triumph.
While expressing approval that his dry humour has finally been deemed superior to Graeme Swann’s bravado, Anderson concluded: “The cream always comes to the top.”
In doing so, the paceman encapsulated a thrilling contest, which saw England take the lead at Adelaide before Australia appeared to rubbish the notion they were inferior with an equally emphatic win in Perth.
Anderson, side-kick to Swann on and off the field throughout the tour, refused to hoard England’s bowling plaudits although he jokingly delayed mention of his close friend’s efforts.
“I’m just delighted to have contributed to a successful side,” the leading wicket-taker in the series told ecb.co.uk/video.
“My job...is leading the attack and to be honest my job is made a lot easier by the guys bowling at the other end.
“Chris Tremlett has been fantastic since he came in the side, Tim Bresnan has done a great job and you can’t forget Broady and Finny, who were fantastic in the first three games. It was just a magical team performance - oh, Swanny as well, sorry.”
Anderson revealed his delight at making his side’s early dominance tell and, in doing so, becoming the first England team to win the Ashes Down Under since 1986-87.
“It was fantastic retaining the Ashes last week, but we all wanted to win the Ashes because it’s not been done for so long,” he said.
“To come here and win by an innings again, which we’ve done twice already in this series, was fantastic and was really kicking them while they were down, which was what we wanted to do.”
The tourists deservedly performed a lap of honour in front their delirious fans, whose support Anderson highlighted.
“It was an incredible feeling,” he recalled. “Again, the same as Melbourne, the crowd was majority English and the English fans have been fantastic the whole way through.
“[They’ve] really made the trip a lot easier for us; we have played some good cricket but when you come to Australia it can be quite intimidating, but the amount of support we’ve had out here has just been fantastic.
“To be able to do a lap of honour, winning the Ashes 3-1, is just an amazing feeling.”
Anderson, whose 24 series wickets came at 26.04, has been rested for the two Twenty20 internationals and first three one-day internationals of seven against Australia.
Looking ahead to the World Cup, which starts in mid-February, he admitted the opportunity to recharge his batteries has come at the right time.
“I’m going to get a couple of weeks’ break, come out to Australia for the last three one-dayers and then onto the World Cup,” added Anderson, who betrayed his tiredness in miscalculating the number of ODIs he is due to return for.
“It will be a nice break, a welcome break, I’m feeling a little bit run down at the moment. I’m looking forward to the break; I’m going to make best use of it and then hopefully come back fresh for the one-dayers.”