England not thinking of whitewash

  • Last Updated: July 30 2013, 15:50 BST

England seamer James Anderson insists the squad are not entertaining thoughts of a 5-0 whitewash over Australia ahead of the third Ashes Test.

England not thinking of whitewash

Having dominated the series so far with victories at Trent Bridge and Lords the talk now is of a clean sweep over the tourists.

But as Old Trafford prepares to host its first Ashes clash since the memorable draw of 2005 - when 10th-wicket pair Brett Lee and Glen McGrath survived the final four overs - Anderson stressed the hosts were concentrating only on the job in hand.

"It (5-0) is not something we are really focusing on," said the series' joint leading wicket taker, celebrating his 31st birthday on Tuesday.

"We played really well in the first two games and our job is to improve on that.

"It has gone well for us so far. We are very conscious of not getting ahead of ourselves.

"We have to concentrate on winning this game and not looking too far ahead in the series."

With Burnley-born Anderson playing on home turf at Lancashire's county ground he is hoping to gain some sort of advantage, whether it be from the pitch or the fans.

"I am very exited about it. I have not played an Ashes test here before.

"There have been a few requests from tickets and hopefully I can keep everyone happy.

"I was fortunate to get to one of the days here in 2005 and the atmosphere was incredible.

"The ground looks amazing, the redevelopments have made huge improvements and come Thursday it will be an incredible atmosphere and something we are all looking forward to.

"The whole region is cricket-mad and to get an Ashes Test back is a huge thing for the area."

Monty Panesar has been added to the squad as a second spinner as the Old Trafford wicket has been known to favour the slow bowlers.

However, Anderson hopes there is still plenty in the strip for himself and England's other quicks.

"It has been renowned for helping spin and I presume that is the thinking with him being in the squad but we like to cover all bases," he said.

"We have plenty of seam and spin options and in the past it has been renowned for being pacy with bounce but it has changed slightly in the last few years.

"Hopefully there will be a bit of pace in the pitch because that is something which has been lacking in the first two games for the seamers."

Anderson could give no indication on the state of Kevin Pietersen's fitness after the batsman sustained a calf injury in the last Test.

The 33-year-old has been undergoing intensive treatment in an attempt to get him ready but his team-mate offered no insight into the progress.

"Until he does something I have no idea," he said.

"He has been rehabbing hard and doing everything to get himself fit and we'll keep our fingers crossed."

There is a chance Australia batsman David Warner will be handed a recall with the top order struggling for runs.

The 26-year-old, who last month was suspended for punching England's Joe Root in a bar after a Champions Trophy game, scored 193 for Australia A against their South African counterparts in Pretoria last week

Warner has now rejoined the senior squad and he could line-up against England at Old Trafford, although Anderson is confident a new addition will not bring any surprises.

"It will be a new challenge as we've not played against him in Test cricket," he said.

"We have looked at all their players from one to 15 and we will be ready for every eventuality."

Pietersen was able to take some part in England training, and batted in the nets for several minutes.

There was strapping around his left calf to protect his injury, and after joining his team-mates in an initial warm-up he went through his own exercise routine under the guidance of England physiotherapist Craig de Weymarn.

After batting, Pietersen did some jogging and shuttle runs at the edge of the square.

It is thought England may well leave it until the last minute to judge his fitness for Thursday.


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