‘We would have bowled out any team under these conditions’
'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.'
Lords, AUG 11: England pacer James Anderson described the conditions on Day 2 of the second Test against India at Lord’s as perfect for bowling and said his side would have bowled out any batting line-up in the world under similar circumstances.
Anderson registered his 27th Test five-wicket haul, picking 5 for 20, as India was bowled out for 107 runs, with rain intervening thrice during the 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 added after the second day’s play at 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 (Day 1) 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.”
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, do 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.