Veteran England pacer, James Anderson is ageing like a fine wine as on Tuesday he once again left the world gasping at his greatness. England needed to take 9 wickets on the final day of the first Test match against India to take a lead in the 4-match series.
While the pitch was assisting spinners, England had two – Jack Leach and Dom Bess – inexperienced ones, and India have returned from a couple of fifth-day heists in Australia. However, James Anderson cut the work short and took England’s one foot in the victory door in the first session on Day 5.
Anderson, 38, sent Shubman Gill’s off-stump for a ride with his first ball of the day; three balls later, the same happened to Ajinkya Rahane as the pacer displayed the highest quality reverse swing bowling. A few overs later, Anderson got rid of Rishabh Pant as well to break the back of India’s middle-order.
Glad to have got the nod for this game: James Anderson
After the game, he revealed that England’s seamers – Anderson himself, Jofra Archer, and Ben Stokes, who bowled in short bursts – were confident of taking wickets despite the pitch being slow. Anderson, who took a 6-for in Sri Lanka, says that they wanted to hit the right lengths and got help from the reversing ball and deteriorating pitch.
“Came out well. The ball was reversing. We knew we had to get the lengths right and I managed to do that. I got a bit of luck with the bounce there. Reverse swing was huge for us. The pitch was obviously slow and deteriorating so movement in the air makes us seamers feel we can get a wicket any ball,” James Anderson said in the post-match virtual conference.
He says that he was happy to get the nod for the first Test match in Chennai – Stuart Broad was picked over Anderson in the first Test in Sri Lanka – and will rest well after toiling hard in the Chennai heat. It is to be seen whether England continue their rotation policy and bring back Broad for the second Test – Broad was rested for the second Test in Galle – or retain Anderson after his brilliant show.
“I am feeling great. Had a good tour of Sri Lanka and have managed to carry on the form here as well. Glad to have got the nod for this game, we have a good lot of bowlers here. It was hard graft out there for five days, now need to rest well for three days and come hard again in… well three days (smiles),” the 38-year-old pacer added.