England pacer James Anderson has said the conditions on day two of the second Test against India here were perfect for bowling and his side would have bowled out any batting line-up in the world under similar situations.
Anderson took his 27th Test five-wicket haul, picking 5/20, as India were bowled out for 107 runs with rain intervening thrice during this innings.
He said his side has made good use of the conditions as an attack and India just drew the short straw based on very harsh conditions.
“I think that if we bowled like that today, with those conditions, we’d bowl most teams in the world out because I think we were that good. We hardly bowled any bad balls, didn’t give them much to hit and when you build pressure like that all day, no matter who you are around the world, it is difficult. We exploited those conditions as well as anyone in the world. I don’t think it’s just the Indian batsmen that would have struggled,” said Anderson.
“Honestly, I would have been so disappointed if I had messed up today because they were the ideal conditions to bowl in, I find it so much fun when like that. You don’t often get conditions like that in England anymore, when the ball does that much through the air and off the pitch. The biggest thing is not trying to do too much, too many different things, just keep focus, try and bowl good balls and keep hoping they nick them eventually,” he said after the second day’s plat at the Lord’s.
Anderson said that the conditions did favour England heavily, especially in helping them decide on playing an extra pacer in Chris Woakes while also opting to bowl after winning the toss.
“The rain yesterday certainly made the decision for us at the toss and with a day missing as well, you need to bowl first. We didn’t think it would do that much, it looked a good pitch, dry with a bit of green grass on top but not too much. Thought it might do a bit early on, but the moisture around all day helped it do a little bit more, and through the air as well. It was not particularly warm, but warm enough and that moisture that is in the ground just helps it move around. The four of us bowled really well,” he said.
India never really got out of the woods with Anderson etching out the openers in the space of 15 balls before the first rain shower of the day. Then, there was a horrendous mix-up between Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara, before India lost their last seven wickets for 92 runs when play resumed late in the day.
“I did not want to go off (for the rain break) as I felt in really good rhythm. We were on top with two early wickets and there were dark black clouds coming from that direction all day. Then we did get a deluge. It’s frustrating when you are on top, you want to stay out there and keep that pressure on the opposition. You feel like it is a chance for them to regroup and come out to play better. But we coped with that long break really well, and when we came back out, we stuck to our task brilliantly.
“It (the mix up) can happen when we were building pressure, both me and Stuart (Broad) bowling well from both ends, does create pressure. It was just a mix up, a yes and then a no, and then of course a massive downpour, which would not have made Pujara feel any better,” said Anderson.
He said that he enjoyed his latest battle with Kohli, but disagreed that India were too dependent on him.
“I was thinking why can’t he (Kohli) edge them like everyone else. I have really enjoyed the contest between him and myself. He is number one 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 is a really thrilling thing to be a part of, and unfortunately I have not got the better of him yet, but I will continue to try my hardest throughout the rest of the series.
“I don’t think you can think like that (dependency) because we’ve played against all of them before. There are some real quality players in there. I think Kohli is important because he is captain, a leader and he is their best player — number one in the world. But 90 per cent of their top seven have scored runs against us in the past so we can’t look just as Kohli as a big wicket,” Anderson said.
At 36-years-old, the pacer has been bowling as good as ever in this series. The question of age does not bother him still, and he hoped that wickets would keep coming for him in the near future.
“All I think about is getting my body in as good a condition as it can be to cope with bowling out in the middle. I was delighted with how many overs I bowled at Edgbaston. For my body to get through that at this age I’m really happy with. I think it means I’m doing the right stuff off the field.
“But I don’t think about numbers or my age, I feel like, I won’t say 28, but 32. I don’t feel old. I feel like I can still throw myself around in the field as well as anyone else so as long as I feel like that I’m just going to keep playing as long as possible. Hopefully the wickets will keep coming as well and I can help this team keep winning,” Anderson signed off.