Ashes: James Anderson - England need to show fight and character

Last Updated: 23/11/13 11:59am

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James Anderson is backing his England team-mates to show what they are made of during the remainder of the first Ashes Test at The Gabba.

The tourists are staring a heavy defeat in the face after being reduced to 24-2 chasing a target of 561 by stumps on day three.

Australia were able to declare their second-innings on 401-7 thanks to centuries from David Warner and Michael Clarke - and then claimed the wickets of Michael Carberry and Jonathan Trott before stumps.

Anderson told Sky Sports: "We are in a tricky position and need to show a lot of fight and character tomorrow, which we know we've got. We've shown it in the past."

England were bowled out for 136 in their first innings earlier in the game, seemingly undone by the extra pace and bounce on offer at The Gabba.

But Anderson denied his team's batsmen have trouble on quick pitches.

He said: "The pace isn't a worry. We've faced much quicker than this in previous series and the batsmen are used to it.

"We prepared for them bowling quick at us and we have a lot of quality, a lot of fighting spirit and can come back stronger."

Freedom

Anderson went wicketless in 19 overs during Australia's second innings and admitted the England bowlers - for whom Chris Tremlett led the way with 3-69 - were always up against due to the first-innings deficit of 159.

"After yesterday's performance with the bat, we were always going to struggle creating pressure with the ball when they're in a such a good position," said the Lancashire seamer.

"There is not much pressure on their batsmen when they have got a 150-run lead to start with.

"I thought we fought really well with the ball, created chances and got wickets at certain times.

"With the runs on the board and the lead they had, they could play with a bit more freedom and attack Swanny (spinner Graeme Swann) a bit more - and that is going to put pressure on the rest of us.

"That was one of those things because of the lead they had. The way we performed in the first innings with the bat wasn't good enough, we were always going to struggle today but I thought we fought really well."

Short-ball issue

Anderson remains confident in the ability of England No.3 Trott to deal with the short ball.

Trott was dismissed cheaply by Australia's quickest bowler, Mitchell Johnson, for the second time in the match shortly before the close.

And Warner had some strong views on the subject at his post-play press conference, saying: "The way Trotty got out today was pretty poor and pretty weak. Obviously there is a weakness there and we're on top of it at the moment."

Of Trott, Anderson said: "A guy like that doesn't average 50 in test cricket because he can't play the short ball.

"He can, he's obviously having a tough 'trot' at the moment, he's going through a difficult period, and we know that he's got a lot of character and a lot of skill and enough to come out the other end."

Watch highlights of today's play on Sky Sports 2 and On Demand from 6.30pm before The Ashes Verdict (9pm) and Ashes Extra (11pm) hit your screens ahead of coverage of day four, from 11.30pm - also on Sky Sports 2.

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