England summer report: India well beaten, Anderson breaks record and Cook retires
Joe Root is now looking ahead to the tours of Sri Lanka and the West Indies
It was celebration time at The Oval yesterday. England wrapped up a 4-1 series victory against India after beating the tourists by 118 runs in the final Test.
As well as another good result for Joe Root’s side, the Oval Test will live long in the memory for batsman Alastair Cook, bowler James Anderson and the England fans.
After announcing his retirement, former skipper Cook signed off from Test cricket with 71 runs in England’s first innings and a magical 147 in the second.
Anderson then added to the party atmosphere by breaking the record for Test wickets taken by a seam bowler. The 36-year-old bowled India’s Mohammed Shami to claim his 564th Test wicket and overtake the previous record held by Australia legend Glenn McGrath.
With the summer home schedule complete, skipper Root will now be planning the winter tours of Sri Lanka and the West Indies.
Next month, England travel to Sri Lanka to play five one-day internationals (ODIs), one Twenty20 (T20) and three Test matches. Early next year, Root’s side are in the Windies for three Tests, five ODIs and three T20s.
Root looks for consistency in Test matches
Before beating India 4-1 this summer, England’s Test team lost the Ashes 4-0 in Australia, were beaten 1-0 in the two-match series by New Zealand and then drew 1-1 with Pakistan.
Captain Root, who scored 125 in the fifth Test second innings, praised his side’s improvement in the series against India but admitted that the tour of Sri Lanka would be “challenging”.
He told Sky Sports: “I think we are on an upwards curve. I do think we have shown a lot of improvement this summer. When we have had tough days and tough games, we have responded extremely well to that.”
Root acknowledged there were difficult challenges ahead but said that he was relishing the opportunity to show “growth as a team” and consistency.
Who will open the batting?
In Sri Lanka and the West Indies Root will have to make changes at the top of the batting order following Cook’s retirement from international cricket.
While England can call upon world-class Test seam bowlers in Anderson and Stuart Broad, the batting department – and the top of the order – is a particular concern, says Geoffrey Boycott in The Daily Telegraph.
Boycott says Root and England’s selectors have “no confidence in any batsman from the 18 counties”, so may have to rely on the “fantastic all-rounders” they have at their disposal.
“They might as well pick all of Moeen Ali, Ben Stokes, Sam Curran, Adil Rashid, Chris Woakes, Jonny Bairstow and Jos Buttler and fit the batting order around them,” said Boycott.
“They should put the 11 names in a hat, shake them up and down pull them out one by one and bat them in that order.”
McGrath: Anderson should aim for 600 wickets
Anderson’s record-breaking feat in the fifth Test against India saw the cricketing world pay tribute to England’s star bowler.
Despite his own records and achievements, Alastair Cook believes Anderson is “the best cricketer that England has ever produced”.
Speaking at The Oval, Cook told the BBC’s Test Match Special: “He’s an incredible athlete, an incredible bowler. I can’t describe what he must go through, physically and mentally, to do what he does. He’s a freak. It’s been a pleasure standing at first slip for his bowling.”
Anderson now holds the Test wicket record for seam bowlers. Only spin legends Anil Kumble (619), Shane Warne (708) and Muttiah Muralitharan (800) have taken more.
With 564 victims now claimed, Anderson has been challenged by Aussie legend McGrath to aim for 600 wickets.
Speaking to BBC Radio 5 live, McGrath said: “If he can raise the bar to 600 wickets, that’s an incredible effort. I was proud to hold it [the record] for as long as I did – for it to be beaten by somebody like Jimmy Anderson is great.
“I have a lot of respect for Jimmy. He’s been an incredible bowler for a long time. To have played well over 140 Tests and just keep running in, day in, day out, and remain at the top of his game, yeah, I’m very proud Jimmy’s got there.”
England vs. India 2018 results
Twenty20 and one-day international results
- 1st T20: India won by eight wickets
- 2nd T20: England won by five wickets
- 3rd T20: India won by seven wickets (India won the series 2-1)
- 1st ODI: India won by eight wickets
- 2nd ODI: England won by 86 runs
- 3rd ODI: England won by eight wickets (England won the series 2-1)
Test results: England won the series 4-1
- 1st Test, Edgbaston: England won by 31 runs
- 2nd Test, Lord’s: England won by an innings and 159 runs
- 3rd Test, Trent Bridge: India won by 203 runs
- 4th Test, Ageas Bowl: England won by 60 runs
- 5th Test, The Oval: England won by 118 runs
2018-2019 England cricket tours
In October England travel to Sri Lanka to play five one-day internationals (ODIs), one Twenty20 (T20) and three Test matches.
In January and February England are in the West Indies for three Tests, five ODIs and three T20s. See the full schedule at ecb.co.uk.