James Anderson stars with one of the ‘great overs’ as England beat India
The ‘Goat’ produces a bowling masterclass in first Test victory in Chennai
Cricket pundits and fans are running out of superlatives to describe the bowling of England star James Anderson.
At the age of 38, the “Burnley Express” should be in the twilight of his career. However, he continues to perform at the highest level and extend his record as the fast bowler with most wickets in international Test cricket.
On the final day of the first Test in Chennai, India were chasing a world record 420 to win the match. The home side made a decent start but when Anderson was introduced he swung the game in devastating fashion with “one of the great overs in recent memory”, says the BBC’s Matthew Henry.
Anderson and Jack Leach then went on to inspire England to a 227-run win - a performance that ranks as “one of England’s greatest Test victories”, says The Telegraph’s Nick Hoult.
From Freddie to Jimmy
In his first over of the day, which came 50 minutes into the opening session, Anderson’s reverse swing masterclass saw the dismissal of Shubman Gill and Ajinkya Rahane as well as no runs conceded.
With “skill and execution” Anderson produced “one of the great overs of bowling”, says The Times’s Simon Wilde, and the devastating six-ball spell put England on course for the famous victory.
“The method may have been subtly different but the impact was every bit as spectacular,” said Miller. “Just as Andrew Flintoff ripped open the 2005 Edgbaston Test with a sensational and never-to-be-forgotten over of high-class reverse-swing bowling, James Anderson did likewise on the final day in Chennai - to set up an England victory that deserves to be recalled as one of their finest in recent memory.”
‘The GOAT of English cricket’
England captain Joe Root, who was named man of the match for his double century in his 100th Test, praised Anderson for being “the GOAT of English cricket” and said the over was one of the best he’d ever seen.
“He’s finding ways of constantly challenging himself, and he’s getting better all the time,” said Root. “I can’t think of [a better over] in my time. It reminded me a little bit of Flintoff in ’05, the impact of that over to [Ricky] Ponting and [Justin] Langer, but in the context of this game it was huge.
“When you are looking around, in big moments in Test matches, naturally you expect that from him and the likes of Ben Stokes, coming on and taking the wicket of Virat Kohli. Big-game players stand up and do special things.”
Anderson, meanwhile, was typically understated in his post-match comments, the BBC reports. “I didn’t really do anything out of the ordinary from the plans we had,” he said. “I just got lucky really with a couple that hit some bare patches, and I had a bit of reverse [swing] as well.
“It’s always nice to see a stump cartwheeling out the ground, it doesn’t happen much at my age so I’m really happy with today.”
The second Test of the four-match series between India and England starts on Saturday in Chennai (4am GMT daily start; live on Channel 4).