Joe Root has heaped praise on pace spearhead James Anderson after his performance helped England thrash India in the second England vs India Test at Lord’s. Despite the first day being entirely washed out, the hosts won the game inside four days by an innings and 159 runs. Anderson was one of the chief architects of the win, picking up 9 for 43 in the game.
Anderson laid the platform for England’s win by running through the Indian lineup in the first innings. He picked up 5 for 20 as England bowled India out for just 107. In reply, the hosts piled up 396 for 7 before declaring.
Anderson then went on to pick 4 more wickets in the second essay, helping England wrap up the Indian innings for just 130 runs. Throughout the match, he gave the Indians a hard time with his swinging deliveries in conditions which were perfect for swing bowling. The first wicket of the second innings took him to 100 at Lord’s, making him only the second bowler to take a hundred wickets at a venue, after Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralitharan.
Anderson took 23 Test matches to reach the landmark and has a career-best of 7/42 at the Home of Cricket. He also has also taken six five-wicket hauls at Lord’s. Anderson now has the most number of wickets in an India-England series with 96 scalps to his name. India’s Bhagwat Chandrasekhar is second with 95 and he is followed by Anil Kumble (92), Bishan Singh Bedi (85) and Kapil Dev (85).
The latest performance has pretty much put the talk of Anderson being less effective due to his age on the bed. And Root feels his 36-year old pace spearhead is showing no signs of dulling.
“He’s a special, special commodity, isn’t he,” said Root in the post-match press conference. “He’s something that doesn’t come along very often and we’ve got to enjoy him while he’s around, there’s been chat about his longevity but at the minute he’s bowling better than he ever has before. Even though the conditions suited you’ve still got to put the ball in the right area and ask the right questions of the batters.
“His record suggest just that: a hundred wickets here at Lord’s now. Time and again he puts in fantastic performances, and you know if he’s not taking wickets he’s going at two-an-over, so he always gives you control.”
Despite his brilliant show with the ball, Anderson could not walk away with the Man of the Match trophy. It was instead won by Chris Woakes, the allrounder who replaced Ben Stokes and grabbed the chance with both the hands. Woakes scored his maiden Test ton and picked up 4 wickets.
Root admitted that England missed Stokes but lauded Woakes for being a perfect replacement.
“It’s been a frustrating summer for him,” said Root of Woakes. “He’s been injured for a long part of it, and to get an opportunity to come in this week – the easy thing to do is get anxious, try a bit too hard. But he settled in magnificently well with that first spell in particular, then took that confidence into his batting. That partnership (189 with Jonny Bairstow for the sixth wicket) changed the game, turned it on its head, and got us miles ahead on that surface. It was worth probably 550 on another wicket.”
“Ben is obviously a huge part of this squad, so it’s a miss him not being here this week. But what it did do was create an opportunity for Chris to come in and perform – and boy, he didn’t disappoint did he? He was outstanding.
“It’s nice to see guys really taking opportunities, and that’s something we really want to harness as an example to the guys in and around the squad – ‘when you get your chance, make it as hard as possible to leave you out’. It’s a great headache to have for us, going into next week,” he added.
The third Test would get underway at Trent Bridge on Saturday.