CHENNAI: England’s veteran fast bowler James Anderson (pix) produced one of the most dramatic overs in Test cricket Tuesday, wrecking India’s hopes of pulling off a record-breaking run chase.
Captain Joe Root said he could not remember a better over in his career, but there is still no guarantee that Anderson will be in the team for the second Test.
“In the context of this game it was huge,” he said in a tribute to the 38-year-old, whose three wickets in the innings took him to 611 in all Tests.
Anderson was meant for “big moments” in Tests, said Root.
“Big game players stand up and do special things. It’s a great example for the young guys around to see that and want to be a part of that.”
Root called on Anderson to bowl the 14th over of the final day of the first Test and even by the paceman’s standards it was special.
His second ball claimed Shubman Gill with an incoming delivery to send the off stump flying.
Two balls later, Anderson’s appeal for lbw against Ajinkya Rahane was narrowly turned down. But with the next, he sent back Rahane for zero with the off stump uprooted again.
With two key batsmen gone so early, shell-shocked never looked likely to recover and were all out for 192 and lost the test by more than 200 runs.
“To be honest I was more expecting maybe an lbw or something, or maybe a caught mid-wicket with the one that stuck in the pitch,” said Anderson.
“But it’s always nice to see the stumps cartwheeling out of the ground.”
“It doesn’t happen very often at my age, so I’m very happy it did today.”
Root said he held back on using Anderson so he could take advantage of his infamous reverse swing.
“And when reverse swing came into it, the skill level and accuracy of Jimmy was always going to be very potent,” said the captain.
“It worked out nicely for us. And to deliver a spell of bowling like that really did change the whole dynamic of the game.”
England have a policy of rotating their veteran bowlers which leaves Root and the team managers in a dilemma. They could still decide to bring in Stuart Broad for the next game which starts Saturday.
Anderson said he understands the policy but would still rest and recover to be ready for the next Test. – AFP