London: James Anderson urged England’s senior players to come together to help the side restore some pride with a competitive performance in the fourth Ashes Test after a humiliating innings and 14-run loss to Australia in Melbourne.
Australia retained the Ashes with two Tests to spare with the Melbourne win, having already won by 275 runs in Adelaide and nine wickets in the Brisbane opener.
England will be without head coach Chris Silverwood for the fourth Test, after a positive COVID-19 test in the touring party on Wednesday forced him to isolate for 10 days, but Anderson backed his team to battle through their setbacks.
“We have to restore some pride and try and compete. That’s our main focus as players,” Anderson told British media. “We have to block out what’s happening off the field and focus on the fourth and fifth Tests.”
The veteran seamer, who is playing in his 10th Ashes series, called on more experienced players in the England squad to boost the team’s morale.
“It can be difficult at times, especially for guys experiencing the Ashes for the first time who are not that experienced with Test cricket and touring,” Anderson said.
“That’s where the more senior players come in. We have to try and rally round, make sure everyone is in a good place and a good headspace.”
The fourth Ashes Test will take place at the Sydney Cricket Ground from January 5 to January 9.