Anderson focused on short-term goals
James Anderson insists England are looking no further than the end of the npower Test series against Pakistan as they attempt to extend their winning streak.
A sixth successive Test victory will be in England’s sights when they take to the field at Edgbaston tomorrow, while Anderson goes into the game fresh from a career-best haul of 11-71 at Trent Bridge.
His sensational bowling in Nottingham, notably second-innings figures of 6-17, was the most memorable aspect of England’s resounding 354-run triumph in little more than three days.
Such was their dominance that much of the post-match debate centred around the winter Ashes campaign in Australia, and whether England can take their current form Down Under.
Anderson, however, insists he and the players are living by the time-honoured sporting principle of taking one game - or at least one series - at a time.
“There’s not a lot of planning for the winter at the moment,” he told ecb.co.uk. “We’ve got a huge series against Pakistan and we’re concentrating on winning that.
“All we can do is win the Tests and that’s what we’re looking to do - win each test as it comes along and get us into good shape for the winter.
“It's a huge series for us, especially after the last time we toured there - we want to put on a better show. But there’s plenty of time to think about Australia when this series is over.”
Anderson, as modest and unassuming a cricketer as there is, made exemplary use of conditions at Trent Bridge that could reasonably be described as perfect for swing bowling.
“It went well,” he said, with typical understatement. “The ball swung and I managed to get the edges, which doesn’t happen all the time, so you have to make the most of it.
“The catching was outstanding, and the bowling was as well. It went well for me and the team, and makes all the hard work that we put in in practice worthwhile.”
The damp weather in Birmingham over the last few days suggests the quicker bowlers may well be in clover once again when hostilities resume, but Anderson and his colleagues insist they will not be relying on assistance from the elements.
“Generally wherever we go we don’t expect it to swing, and if it does it’s a bonus,” he revealed.
“We just concentrate on sticking to our plans - bowling maidens and creating pressure. If you go and expect it to swing and it doesn’t, then that’s when things can go wrong.
“That’s nothing to do with how conditions will be in Australia; it’s what the plan has always been for us.”
The message is clear from Anderson as England go in search of the victory that will give them an unassailable 2-0 lead in the four-match series: “We want more of the same.”
“I’m just hoping we can put in a similar performance to Trent Bridge,” he added.
“We’re not expecting to have the same performance and we’re not going to take it lightly. We know we’re going to have to work for it.”