The Ashes: ‘We’re hurting’ admits Anderson after Sydney loss brings curtain down on miserable series

You've urned it: Australia's Steve Smith celebrates winning the Ashes. Picture: Jason O'Brien/PA
You've urned it: Australia's Steve Smith celebrates winning the Ashes. Picture: Jason O'Brien/PA
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JAMES ANDERSON insists there is no need for a “big upheaval” after England’s 4-0 Ashes series defeat.

The tourists’ unsuccessful campaign concluded in Sydney where they lost by an innings and 123 runs after being bowled out for 180.

It fell to Anderson to address the press in the absence of captain Joe Root, who was belatedly able to resume his attempted rearguard for only an hour up to lunch before retiring ill again on 58 with severe dehydration and then having to sit out the post-match ceremony.

Vice-captain on this tour in place of Ben Stokes - absent for other reasons - Anderson said: “It doesn’t feel like a series where there should be a big upheaval.

“It doesn’t feel like a completely disastrous series. (But) we’re hurting and we know we’ve got to improve.”

Revisiting themes often voiced by Root over the past two months, he added: “We’ve just not capitalised on the key moments, making big scores, taking a couple more wickets that would get us on top.

Illness-hit: England captain Joe Root takes a drink before having to retire again.

Illness-hit: England captain Joe Root takes a drink before having to retire again.

“They’ve played the pressurised moments better than us, and when they’ve put the pressure on us we haven’t reacted very well.”

England’s problem has been sustaining peaks of performance - something at which their hosts have been highly adept.

“Getting to 60 and 70 with the bat is not good enough,” said Anderson. “You’ve got to get big hundreds, as they have done.

“It’s all very well bowling well 15-20 overs, but the 25-30 overs can be key overs for a bowler - the periods when you have to stay at your best - and we haven’t done that.”

It doesn’t feel like a completely disastrous series. (But) we’re hurting and we know we’ve got to improve.

England vice-captain, James Anderson

The bottom line is that, on three of their last four Ashes tours, England failed to win a single Test.

Anderson, a veteran of all those campaigns as well as England’s glorious 2010/11 series victory, had to watch Australia celebrate again.

“We’ve known for a few weeks they’re going to lift the urn, but seeing them do it in person was tough to watch,” he said.

“There’s not a lot we can do about it; we’ve not played well enough, and they deserve to win it.”

He remains full of admiration for Root.

“He’s not had any sleep, he’s not eaten, he’s had diarrhoea and he’s been vomiting... so I guess he’s not in great state.

“To get to the ground was a great effort, and to strap his pads on and bat for as long as he did showed exactly what sort of person he is.”

England’s all-time leading wicket-taker is hoping, at the age of almost 37 by late summer 2019, he will be back to help Root in an Ashes rematch at home.

“I’m going to do everything I can to be available. I don’t pick the team - I can’t say I’m definitely going to be there.

“(But) I’m hungry to be there, still as hungry as ever. I’ve never really looked too far ahead, but I’d really like to be around in 2019.”

Root’s opposite number Steve Smith could reflect with huge satisfaction on a series he has helped to dominate with his prolific haul of 687 runs - but he too is already looking forward.

“This team has been magnificent this series,” he said. “The more we play together the more we will get better.

“England in 2019 is a long way away, but it’s a real challenge for us as well. A bucket list of mine is to win an Ashes series in England.”

Australia have announced batsman Chris Lynn will miss the forthcoming one-day international series against England because of a calf injury.