Anderson revels in reverse swing at Eden
Kolkata, Dec 5: James Anderson didn’t attract much attention in the first two Tests against India as the spinners hogged all the limelight. But England’s premier fast bowler is back to where he is used to being – right under the spotlight. On the first day of the Test at the Eden Gardens, Anderson, with three wickets, ensured the day belonged to England with India at 273 for seven.
After being overshadowed on the spin-friendly tracks of Ahmedabad and Mumbai, Anderson relished the swing Kolkata offered. “We had hints of reverse swing in the first two Tests but it was nothing like it was today,” Anderson said after the day’s play.
“The other thing was that the new ball swung here, which didn’t happen in the first two games either. I believe it will keep swinging throughout the whole Test. I think due to the early start there’s a bit of dew around and that helps.
“I felt good all day and I thought I bowled reasonably well with the new ball. Once I start getting the ball to reverse, it makes my job a lot easier to attack and get wickets. I enjoyed it as much as I could,” he said.
Anderson’s second wicket of the day was that of Sachin Tendulkar, the man he has now dismissed eight times in 13 Test matches. Despite repeated success against the legendary batsman, the English seamer refrains from calling Tendulkar his bunny.
“I won’t say that he’s my bunny. But it’s a nice thing to be able to say a few years down the line that it happened. Today, his was a crucial wicket. He looked a bit scratchy early on but once he got going, he can be dangerous, as we know. So, I was really pleased to get him out when I did.”
Anderson also denied having cracked the Tendulkar code. “I don’t think I’ve got the way of getting him out. It’s just happened that I have dismissed him the number of times that I have. I don’t think I bowl better to him than I bowl to anyone else,” he insisted.
Gautam Gambhir, who scored 60 in the innings, said that since Anderson hid the ball during his run-up, it was difficult for the batsmen to gauge the direction of reverse swing. Anderson revealed that he picked up that trick from Zaheer Khan the last time England toured India.
“I remember a few years back I saw Zaheer doing it consistently,” he said. “That’s when I started practising it. It’s been helpful because when batsmen are skilful enough to see which is the shiny side and which way the ball is going to swing, it becomes easy for them. When I hide it, hopefully, it makes it difficult for them.”