ENG v IND, 1st Test, Day Two: Always good to get Kohli early - Anderson
The England fast bowler has challenged Virat Kohli numerous times in the fourth-stump line, outside the off-stump, and was happy it paid off for him this time.
James Anderson celebrates after removing Virat Kohli on Thursday.
James Anderson was pleased to have dismissed two of India’s top batsmen in two consecutive deliveries to get England back into the contest in the second session of the first Test between England and India at Trent Bridge.
India lost four wickets for 15 runs after a first-wicket partnership of 97 runs between KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma, and two of those wickets were of Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli, both of whom were dismissed cheaply.
In the fourth over after lunch, he drew an edge off the bat of Pujara on the second delivery, and then on the very next ball got Kohli to edge behind as well.
‘Stuck to our task’
“We thought if we could get one wicket, we could get a cluster. That’s what we did. We stuck to our task really well as a group; to get a couple of quick ones like that is important, especially with Virat [Kohli] being such a influential player for them, always good to get him early,” Anderson told the media at the end of the day’s play.
Anderson was cock-a-hoop after dismissing Kohli, whom he had trapped repeatedly during India’s tour of England in 2014.
It was a familiar dismissal: a good length ball outside the off-stump, a forward stride for a drive, and a nick behind. This was the sixth time in Tests Kohli had fallen to Anderson; all four of his previous dismissals of him in England were in 2014.
That wicket took him to 619 wickets, which is the joint third-highest tally by an individual bowler in Test cricket. Anderson said Kohli’s wicket would be among the best ones in his collection.
“It’s obviously right up there. It’s always good to get a world-class player out. You have got to challenge yourself against the best, and he certainly is one of the best,” he said.
Commenting on his celebrations, he said, “Probably used some muscles I don’t often use there. It is such a big wicket, and to bowl the ball exactly where I wanted to for him to nick it as well. Just emotions coming out, getting the team back into the game, getting their best player out as well, something that doesn’t happen all that often. Especially getting Kohli out that early doesn’t happen often, so it was an outpouring of emotion.”
Anderson said the mode of dismissal was a standard one and that it wasn’t something he had targeted specifically to trap Kohli.
“It’s not something that we thought about too much, particularly to him. I think what we try and do as a group is try and challenge that fourth stump area, the defence, as much as possible. I thought the openers left brilliantly this morning. But as the day went on we got more consistent with our lines, challenged that defence more, and got them playing more. And I think that’s important on this wicket. I feel like I’ve challenged Virat on this area before, he’s either played and missed or he’s left it or he’s been good enough to get through it, and today was just one of those days where he’s nicked it,” he said.
Looking ahead to the battle with Rishabh Pant, who has already shown his typical cavalier approach during his short stay in the crease, Anderson said: “We got a taste of what he was planning to do, today. Used his feet to Broad. We know the way he’s going to play; he’s aggressive, he’ll think outside the box. He might play the odd shot that’s just out of the ordinary. We have to accept that he’s a fantastic player and a fantastic talent. So, all we got to do is try to concentrate on hitting our areas as much as we can. Try and keep bowling our best ball each ball. When he’s doing different things he may be trying to put us off.”