The real James Anderson finally stands up

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Jimmy Anderson channelled weeks of frustration into action on Friday with a performance that England have been crying out for in this Ashes series.

The paceman had his best day of a terrible tour, snaring the crucial wicket of Australian captain Michael Clarke.

Despite still feeling well off his best, Anderson took 3-50 as Australia crumbled to 9-164.

Asked if he had done anything differently in this Test, Anderson replied: “Nothing. I felt terrible today. I didn’t have any rhythm.

“I felt really frustrated at times.

“I’ve felt alright throughout the series. The frustrating thing is not getting the ball swinging as much as we would’ve thought and there’s not been as much seam movement as there was last time here.

“I feel like I’ve been bowling okay. I’ve just not been getting the rewards.”

Anderson had only taken seven wickets in the first three Tests.

Then his long-time friend Graeme Swann stunned the sport before the Boxing Day Test by announcement his immediate retirement from international cricket.

On Friday, things started turning around.

He had dangerous opener David Warner caught behind for nine.

Anderson then took the crucial wicket of Clarke, who shouldered arms and was bowled for 10.

A controversial DRS decision gave Anderson his third wicket, with George Bailey ruled caught behind for a duck.

His only blemish came when he dropped an easy catch off Mitchell Johnson.

But he made up for it by taking a catch soon after to dismiss the same batsman for two.

Anderson earlier dropped a hot chance off Steve Smith, but it did not cost England as he was dismissed for only 19.

Fellow paceman Stuart Broad also took 3-30 and Anderson praised him for his courage.

Broad continues to nurse a foot injury, courtesy of a Mitchell Johnson yorker in Perth.

“It does look uncomfortable,” Anderson said.

“He’s coping very well with it. He’s being a brave little soldier and taking painkillers.

“He’s done a great job for us today.”

Another key on Friday was Ben Stokes, who gives the England attack more versatility and chimed in with 1-38.

“It does take a lot of pressure off – we don’t have to bowl 20-plus (overs) in a day,” Anderson said.

“It keeps us a lot fresher. Having someone like that in the team is fantastic, great for the balance.”

© AAP 2014
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