James Anderson: Hopefully not my last time on Lord's honours board

IND vs ENG: Anderson, who took a five-for on day two of the second Test at Lord's, said England planned to bowl as full as possible without yielding to the discipline of the batsman and overpitching.

James Anderson said his five-wicket haul at Lord’s was as special as the first one he had taken there, 18 years ago against Zimbabwe.   -  Action Images via Reuters

After a one-sided Day One, England got back in the contest at Lord’s on Friday (August 13) on the back of some persistent bowling from its seamers and dogged batting in the final session. India lost eight wickets for 88 runs to be bowled out for 364 before Rory Burns (49, 136b, 7x4) and Joe Root (48 n.o., 75b, 6x4) build a solid foundation for the host.

India was rocked early during the day as K. L. Rahul (129, 250b, 12x4, 1x6) fell to Ollie Robinson in the first over, driving a delivery straight to cover on the full, and moments later, James Anderson dismissed Ajinkya Rahane first ball. Rishabh Pant (37, 58b, 5x4) and Ravindra Jadeja (40, 120b, 3x4) showed some resistance with the bat, but the others fell cheaply, as Anderson picked up his seventh five-wicket haul at Lord’s and the 31st of his career.

READ: ENG vs IND, 2nd Test, Day 2: England hits back after Anderson takes five to restrict India to 364

“India played well yesterday [Thursday]. We knew if we would put the same amount of effort [as on Day One], try to control our skills and where we put the ball, stick to the plans we had, we would get our rewards,” Anderson told the media at a press conference at the end of the second day’s play.

“With the bat, I thought we had to apply ourselves well. The partnership with Root and Rory Burns was brilliant. A real shame he got out for 49 at the end of the day. I think we’re in a decent position, I know we have a lot of hard work ahead to do, but we’ll bat back-to-back sessions tomorrow if not all of it to get ourselves into this game, and get ahead in the game maybe. Pretty pleased with where we are,” he said, summing up the day’s play for his side.

Finding the right length 

Anderson said England planned to bowl as full as possible without yielding to the discipline of the batsman and overpitching.

“You tried to bowl as full as possible, but if you missed your length even slightly, it was getting driven. I think it was testament to where they batted. Particularly K. L. and Rohit, they put you under pressure. They left well, defended well. They sort of forced you into bowling that full length; as soon as you did it, they punished you.

“I think today it was a case of a little bit of luck as well: K. L., chipping one to cover. And from then on, it was just a case of trying to find that right length without getting too full,” he said.

HIGHLIGHTS - ENG v IND, 2ND TEST, DAY 2

‘Special’ venue 

Anderson said his five-wicket haul at Lord’s was as special as the first one he had taken there, 18 years ago against Zimbabwe.

“It definitely is as special. Every time you play on this ground, it is special. And certainly, the last few times I’ve come here, I think, ‘would this be the last time I’m playing here?’ I think it’s an extra bit special, at Lord’s, certainly for me personally. The place I made my debut. The place I got my first five-wicket haul. And to get seven here is incredible. I don’t know how I did it. Hopefully, it’s not my last time here, and hopefully, it’s not my last time on the honours board,” he said.

During his unbeaten knock of 48, captain Root went past Graham Gooch to become England’s second-highest run-getter in Test matches. He is now 3,537 runs behind Alastair Cook. Anderson praised his captain, calling him superhuman.

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‘Superhuman’ Joe 

“Joe has been amazing throughout his career. And these last few months, in particular, with the pandemic and the pressures on this team. To be able to captain the side and be in the form that he is in is nothing less than superhuman. I can’t speak highly enough of him. Every time he goes out there, he shows his class, and today was exactly that. He just looked all class from ball one. Got in a hat-trick ball which can be full of pressure, but he played comfortably.

“Everyone in the dressing room, if you see your captain face a hat-trick ball like that, it does seem to have a very calm effect on the dressing room. I’m sure there is much more to come from him,” Anderson said.

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Cruel game 

He had a kind word to say about Haseeb Hameed, who fell for a first-ball duck after getting his first chance to play for England after nearly five years. He was clean bowled by Mohammed Siraj.

“It’s cruel sometimes. He has worked incredibly hard, did everything right. Hit a stack load of runs this year, he’s looked unbelievable in the nets. Cricket can be very, very cruel. I do feel for him. He’s got another chance in this game. I’m sure he’ll get a chance throughout the series to show what he can do.”

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