James Anderson believes England will be even better when they play the return Ashes series in Australia this winter after securing a 3-0 victory after drawing the final Test at the Oval in controversial circumstances.
England were denied the chance to make Ashes history when the umpires took the sides off for bad light with the game minutes away from a thrilling climax and Anderson felt the large crowd were denied a fitting ending to the series.
The home side, looking to turn their 3-0 series win into a dream 4-0 success over the Australians, required 21 in 24 balls when Aleem Dar and Kumar Dharmasena produced the dreaded light meters and signalled the end of proceedings.
Anderson said: “We know we can go to Australia and play even better. It feels pretty good (to win the Ashes).
“It would have felt even better if we could have got the last few overs in there. I am delighted to have won the Ashes. Today was fantastic for the crowd.
“As it got closer and closer we really thought we could do it but unfortunately the light didn’t hold out.”
Despite the flat ending to the match Anderson said he would make the most of celebrating the series win.
“We are going to cherish this moment because it doesn’t happen every often.”
Captain Alastair Cook praised his players for winning the Ashes and also reserved credit for batsman Ian Bell who was named man of the series as well as England player of the series.
Cook said of the Warwickshire batsman: “He was outstanding with his three hundreds at crucial times.
“Every one of those guys in the team can be proud of what they’ve done. I knew we had the opportunity to win the Ashes here in England and I’m very proud of what the boys have done.”
Australia captain Michael Clarke praised his opponents for winning the series.
He said: “I think England deserve a lot of credit for the way they’ve played.
“Credit certainly has to go to England, I thought they played really well today.”
Clarke said he had no doubt about setting a target for England on the final day.
“We’re here to try and win every game we played. We were outplayed during the series and couldn’t get over the line,” he said.
The first Test in Australia this winter will be at The Gabba, Brisbane, starting on November 21. England will arrive in Perth on October 25.