James Anderson insists bowlers won't turn on batters despite collapse in third Test

After limiting Australia to 267 in their first innings, England failed to capitalise on a superb bowling session by ending day two on 31 for four, but Anderson insists there's no rift in the squad.

After going all out for 185 in the first innings of the third Test, James Anderson spearheaded England's attack as they limited Australia to just 267.

The 39-year-old racked up four wickets at the price of just 33 runs, averaging just more than one an-over as he showed his class in Melbourne.

But England's batters failed to capitalise and ended the day on 31 for four in just 12 overs. England's inability to post major totals is likely to render the attack's efforts a footnote.

Joe Root was critical of his bowlers after the previous match, with the England captain suggesting they did not bowl attacking lengths often enough, but the biggest problem for the side has been a lack of runs.

Despite that, Anderson stated that the adversity would be faced as one group rather than as split factions.

"We knew that the last 12 overs would be tough with the new ball but, even so, to lose four wickets was really disappointing," said Anderson.

"But it's dangerous as a bowler to talk about our batting. We're a team here. All I can see from the batting group is how hard they are working to put things right. It can be difficult. I don't want to get into a bowlers versus batters thing.

"We're all working hard to try and put in much better performances. We haven't bowled great in the first two games but today we put in a much better performance.

"It's been a tough tour. It always is here, it's never simple. There's always stuff going on but I've got the opportunity to put an England shirt on so I'm enjoying that. I love that.

"We'd all love the results to be going better but that can happen. We'll keep working hard at that and hopefully it will."

England with a foothold as James Anderson leads bowlers following Covid scare

Despite the overall poor performance, Anderson was able to take some positives from his personal showing, which has been his best on tour to date after being left out in Brisbane and underperforming in Adelaide.

"It's definitely the best I've bowled out here since 2010," he said.

"I got into a really good rhythm and felt like I was challenging with every ball. There was a spell late in the first session when I felt like I was going to get a wicket every ball. I honestly felt that good, so it's just nice to get some wickets when you're in that sort of rhythm because it doesn't happen all the time."

Regarding England's decision to leave him out for the opener at The Gabba, Anderson suggested that his fitness wasn't too much of a concern, but insisted he's ready to move on.

"Who knows if I could have played because I wasn't picked? But I felt fit, yes. The decision was made that I missed the game and there's no point talking about that now."

England resume their second innings on December 27, 11.30pm GMT, and currently trail by 51 runs.

READ MORE: England need to be 'stronger' urges Jonny Bairstow following another Ashes blow

Latest news