LONDON (AFP) – James Anderson has stated publicly England's ambition to win the Ashes 5-0 after going 2-0 up against Australia in the ongoing Test series.
Australia have twice routed their arch-rivals by such a margin but England have never won an Ashes 5-0.
But following their 347-run thrashing of Australia at Lord's last week, England have the chance to win their third straight Ashes series at Lancashire paceman Anderson's Old Trafford home ground where the third Test starts on August 1.
Anderson bowled 13 consecutive overs on the final morning of England's 14-run first Test win at Trent Bridge but had a less stressful time at Lord's where, despite being 28 for three, to win inside four days on the back of hundreds by Ian Bell and Joe Root and nine wickets for off-spinner Graeme Swann.
And while there has been pity in some quarters for Australia's plight, Anderson has urged England to be merciless.
"I don't really feel any sympathy," Anderson said. "We want to win the series 5-0, so we will be doing everything we can in each game to win."
Now Anderson is looking forward to facing Australia on his home ground.
"Cricket is huge in the north, and I hate Headingley (the Leeds headquarters of Lancashire's traditional rivals Yorkshire), so it is good to play a Test at Old Trafford," he said of a venue much changed in recent years.
"There is so much history at the ground," Anderson said. "It was in need of a lick of paint, and it got that and a little more -- so I think it is going to be an amazing atmosphere."