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A restless night but it all came good in the end

Posted in England team blog

Going into the Lord's Test we wanted to improve on our performance in Cardiff. We were not good enough in that Test and were lucky to scrape a draw.

However, we did not want to waste our efforts in Cardiff where we worked hard to avoid losing.

We also had to end our 75-year record of not beating Australia at Lord's. It was not something that played on our minds during the game, but someone mentioned it before the Test and we wanted to put that right.

As soon as we got to the ground we knew what we wanted to do. We knew we had to execute our plans.

We started brilliantly with the bat but ended up losing wickets early on the second morning. I went in knowing we needed 400 - that would be competitive. We went past that target after Graham Onions and I put on 47 - that swung the momentum back towards us. We both decided that we were going to be positive.

I enjoy batting and work hard at it. If we can get runs down the order then it can really help out, just like it did at Cardiff.

I have started to think more as a batsman when I go out there. Before I used to think like a tailender, that I wasn't expected to score any runs. Now I try to be more positive when I bat. If I am with a recognised batsman then I will try to get a single and get him on strike, but if I am in with a tailender, like Graham, then I will play shots.

As much as I like batting, I prefer bowling though. That is my job.

Getting those runs gave us a boost when we went out to field. We had a really good spell first up - Fred put on pressure at one end and I got the wickets of Hughes and Ponting.

The evening session was brilliant. The crowd really got behind us and we had them eight down overnight. We knew we had a great chance of making them follow on. Unfortunately Hauritz and Siddle hung around the next morning - if we had bowled them out quickly then I think we would have asked them to bat again.

Straussy made the right decision though. I bowled 21 overs in the first innings which is quite a lot so I was grateful for the rest. We then batting ourselves to a 525-run lead but I was worried that might not be enough.

Even though I was physically tired, I had a sleepless night after the fourth day. I didn't really talk to anyone once play finished. The way Clarke and Haddin put that partnership together, they just looked in total control.

I think a few of the lads felt like me but the next morning we all got together and talked. They still needed more than 200 runs to win - that would be hard to do. Thinking that way helped calm me down.

James Anderson & Michael Clarke

Celebrating after taking the wicket of Michael Clarke at the end of day two - an excellent day with bat and ball

We knew we had to start well and I had a shout for LBW turned down in the first over. That got the crowd going. Fred then got Haddin out and we won before lunch.

Fred's spell that morning was as good a spell I have seen. He was in some discomfort with his injuries, so to bowl for an hour and a half at that pace was superb.

He is great to bowl in tandem with. He doesn't go for many runs and builds pressure.

I didn't do much once the Test finished. I spent a lot of time with my family and went to Scotland to play golf with Colly and Broady. I play off eight but Colly is the best of the group - he plays off four and is a lot more consistent than me.

I like bowling at Edgbaston. It swings a bit but it is a good wicket for batsmen too. The crowd always get right behind us there - it's like a football match. Hearing the fans really helps the players - it certainly did for Monty and I at Cardiff. It really spurred us on.

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