Skipper Eoin Morgan defended England’s team selection despite seeing his side suffer a heavy defeat by Australia in the second one-day international on Sunday.
England opted to play just four frontline bowlers – Boyd Rankin, Steven Finn, Ben Stokes and James Tredwell.
Australia racked up a record one-day international score against England in the UK of 315-7, going on to win by 88 runs.
“I don’t think we were a bowler short, but we weren’t particularly happy with our bowling performance,” said Morgan. “I’m not concerned by the balance of the side. We have a lot of bowling options. Not enough people put their hand up today.”
England chose to rest senior bowlers James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann to ensure they are fit for the Ashes series in Australia later this year.
They are also without Tim Bresnan because of a back injury and their only other bowling options in the squad ahead of the third ODI at Edgbaston on Wednesday are the uncapped pair of Somerset 19-year-old Jamie Overton and Sussex paceman Chris Jordan.
Anderson is enjoying his well-earned break having helped England retain the Ashes this summer. Anderson has endured every emotion possible in his time on the English side.
He said, “I’ve gone full circle in this England team. In 2006-07 in Australia, it was all just bad memories (England lost 5-0); 2009, we weren’t really expected to win (England won 2-1); 2010-11, we hadn’t won in Australia for 24 years and though people thought we had a good chance, they never actually expected us to win (England won 3-1); and, this series has been different in that respect, everyone just thought we were going to wipe the floor with them. It’s been another challenge for us to set our own expectations.”
And did he live up to his own expectations? “I know that I can perform better than I did, more consistently, and that’s exciting as there’s a few players, me included, that can say that about themselves.”
There was at least one spell when Anderson bowled as well as he knows he can and it set the tone for the whole of the Ashes.
England won crucial sessions through spells of individual excellence. On the last day of the first Test at Trent Bridge, he claimed three wickets before lunch – all caught at first slip – for 29 runs from 13 uninterrupted overs. He then returned after lunch to seal an England win by just 14 runs with his 10th wicket of the Test. Anderson recalls it like it was.
“I got into a really good rhythm early on with the old ball,” he said. “Then, five overs into my spell, I got the new ball. It’s not often that you get to do that as generally you’ve got others guys bowling with the old ball until the new ball comes.
“I felt like I was going to get a wicket with every ball. When you’re in that frame of mind, you just want the captain to keep you on and, luckily for me, he did. As it went on, we’d just look at each other at the end of each over, Alastair Cook (the captain) would be like ‘Do you want one more?’ and I’d be like, ‘Yeah, I want one more.’ It just carried on like that at the end of every over, just one more, just one more, just one more.”