In his stellar career spanning almost two decades Jimmy Anderson has scaled the highest heights and has seen almost everything the game has to offer. The highest wicket-taking fast bowler in the history of international red-ball cricket, Anderson continues to show his brilliance even at the ripe age of 39.
Time stood still all over again for Anderson as he ran through the Indian middle order quickly in the second session of Day Two. India had the early advantage as well as momentum for most of Day two, before Jimmy Anderson turned the tide. He sent world class batsmen in Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli back to the pavilion in consecutive deliveries to shock the Indian batting order.
This shift in momentum led India to a spot of bother as they quickly went from 96/0 to 125/4. KL Rahul, back in the Test side for the first time since the last tour of England, got a classy half-century and he’s accompanied by maverick batsman Rishabh Pant at the crease. Pant might be all of 23, but he already has the respect of an all-time great like Anderson who lavished praise on him.
“We’ve got a taste of what he was planning to do. He used his feet on the third ball he faced today. 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 out of the ordinary and we just have to accept that he’s a fantastic player, fantastic talent.”
The last time these two met was in India earlier this year. On that occasion, Anderson came charging down at Pant with the new, red ball in his hand, one that he’s used so often to terrorise opposition batsmen with. Rishabh just took it in his stride, switched his position and reverse lapped it for a boundary, sending fans and social media into a frenzy.
A lot will depend on him as well as Rahul as India take the field on Day 3 against England. The visitors still trail by 58 runs and a patient approach will probably be the need of the hour.
“So, all we have got to do is concentrate on our areas as much as we can, keep bowling our best ball even when he’s doing different things to try and put us off. We’ve just got to hope he nicks one and that’s all we can do because, as I said, he’s a great player. We have nothing specific planned for him. If he keeps charging me then I’ll bowl my best ball, that’s all we can do,” said Anderson.