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India vs England: James Anderson says even England batsmen would have been bundled out

James Anderson captured 5/20 at Lord’s in the second Test against India, his 26th five-wicket innings hauls in Tests that took the 36-year-old’s career tally to 549 wickets.

cricket Updated: Aug 11, 2018 09:16 IST
N Ananthanarayanan
N Ananthanarayanan
Hindustan Times, London
India vs England,James Anderson,Virat Kohli
England's James Anderson celebrates after taking the wicket of India's Ishant Sharma for a duck on the second day of the second Test cricket match between England and India at Lord's Cricket Ground in London on August 10, 2018. (AFP)

England spearhead James Anderson said conditions at Lord’s were so seam-friendly on Friday that even the home batsmen would not have survived against the pace attack. (MATCH REPORT) (DAY 2 HIGHLIGHTS)

Anderson captured 5/20, his 26th five-wicket innings hauls in Tests that took the 36-year-old’s career tally to 549 wickets. “If we were bowling at our batsmen, we’d have the better of them (too),” he joked after putting the hosts on top at the end of a stop-start Day 2 in the second Test.

“Some days it hoops round – they’ve been quite rare actually, the days we’ve had like that, move through the air as much as that – but for us, with the experience we’ve had of bowling on flat decks and the ball doing nothing, when you get the opportunity like that you lick your lips and try to show off your skills.”

The veteran bowler raised some dust on England’s 2016 tour of India when he suggested batsmen like Virat Kohli will struggle in tougher conditions. The India skipper hit a brilliant 149 in Edgbaston and did not fall to Anderson in three innings, but the rest of the batsmen have cut a sorry figure in the series.

ALSO READ: Ajinkya Rahane backs India batting, blames Cheteshwar Pujara for run out

So, are Indians good only in batting-friendly conditions?

“To be honest, I think if we bowled like that, with those conditions, we’d bowl most teams in the world out – because we were that good.

“We hardly bowled any bad balls, didn’t give them much to hit at all – and when you build pressure like that all day, no matter who you are around the world, it is difficult.

“We exploit those conditions as well as anyone in the world. I don’t think it’s just the Indian batsmen that would have struggled.”

He almost got Kohli, but the closest he came was beating him twice. But the batsman did not get a nick.

ALSO READ: Cheteshwar Pujara’s run out nightmare continues

“I was thinking why can’t he edge them like everyone else?” he said when asked about those two near misses. “I’ve really enjoyed the contest between myself and him. He’s No 1 in the world for a reason. For me, I love playing against the best players in the world, testing yourself and seeing whether you can get the better of them.

“It’s a really thrilling thing to be a part of and unfortunately I’ve not got the better of him yet, but I’ll continue to try my hardest throughout the rest of the series.”

It was Chris Woakes, back after a quad injury, who foxed Kohli. All focused against Anderson, the India skipper was beaten repeatedly trying to drive against Woakes, eventually edging one that swung in and moved away.

“We were delighted for Chris. He’s a world-class performer on his day. We’ve seen it before, all around the world, one-day cricket, Test match cricket – he’s a brilliant bowler, a brilliant all-rounder, and someone who can do a fantastic job for this team.

“First game back can always be tricky, especially when you’ve got world-class batsmen to come up against – but he handled the task brilliantly.”

First Published: Aug 11, 2018 08:40 IST