Despite captain Alastair Cook’s non-commital stance about his inclusion in the starting 11, James Anderson made the cut into the playing squad in place of Chris Woakes for the second test against India at Vizag. The most experienced campaigner of the England bowling unit, James Anderson returned to the team after recovering from a shoulder injury.
When the skipper was asked about Anderson before the start of the match on Wednesday, he was quite evasive in his reply to the Times of India, “He has done well since he joined the squad but he has no miles in his legs. The last time he played was in August.”
But 24 hours down the time line, he was sharing the new ball alongside Stuart Broad and ended up being the most successful bowler on the first day, finishing with figure of 3 for 44 at a time when the Indians looked to be in a relentless, attacking mood.
“I spent the last two months working really hard to get back into the side and it’s been frustrating at times, but it’s been worth all the hard work I’ve put in,” Anderson was quoted as saying to TOI. “Getting back out there with the lads was a great feeling and to get back on the board with a couple of wickets was even better,” he added.
The only England bowler with more the 400 Test wickets to his name, had to spend the last few months tending to his injury which left him out of play, leading to frustration. “I’ve missed playing, I’ve missed taking wickets. That sort of feeling you can’t get in any other walk of life. I struggle with it. To get among the wickets meant a lot. But the rehab’s gone really well. When I came back to bowling, I progressed really quickly. It took me less time to do that – to get up to full pace.”
At Vizag, Anderson admitted that the ground settings were tough for the visitors to deal with, “The wicket was tough to bowl on. The outfield was heavy. There will be some sore legs together. The two guys who got hundreds set about their business brilliantly. They showed they are world-class players. We’re in a tough position now. We need to have a good day tomorrow with the ball and have an extremely good first innings with the bat.”
Anderson however claimed his first victim early when Murali Vijay who looked to be in fine form, fended off a short delivery to Ben Stokes at gully.
“The emotion of having worked hard to get back into the team, then getting a wicket early on – that feeling of getting wicket and helping your team out, you can’t replicate,” he said.