‘Even if India got 600…’: James Anderson confident England can pull off a miracle | Cricket News

NEW DELHI: Veteran pacer James Anderson on Sunday said India had a cautious approach in batting in the second innings, pointing out ‘nerves were there to see’ while setting a target against England’s ‘Bazball’ approach in the second Test in Vizag.
As England were set a target of 399, it appeared during the afternoon session that they might be chasing an even larger total with India reaching 227 for six at Tea, holding a lead of 370 runs.
However, in the final session, the hosts could only add 28 runs in 14.3 overs, with their extended tail failing to provide significant contributions.
“I think the nerves were there to see today, the way they batted, they didn’t know how many was enough. They were quite cautious, even when they had a big lead,” said Anderson after close of play.
England need another 332 runs for a record chase in Asian conditions, having ended the day at 67 for one in 14 overs.
Anderson seemed supremely confident about his team’s chances in the game, reflecting the mindset of the players under Ben Stokes’ leadership. In 2022, England had chased down 378 against India in Birmingham.
“The chat last night from the coach (Brendon McCullum) was that if they get 600, we were going to go for it. It makes it very clear to everyone that we will try to do it tomorrow.
“I know there are 180 overs left in the game, but we will try to do it in 60 or 70. That’s the way we play, and we saw that tonight with Rehan (Ahmed) going out and playing his shots.
“He wanted to get out there and chase those runs down, even tonight. We have set our stall out, tomorrow will be no different, we will play the same way we have (played) the last two years.
“Whether we win or lose, it’s not relevant because we are extremely competitive and want to win every game we play, but we want to play in a certain way,” said the 41-year-old who was England’s best bowler across the two innings.
England have revolutionised the way Test cricket is played with their uber-aggressive approach and Anderson said the style has put doubts in the opposition’s mind.
“There’s been moments throughout the last 2 years, particularly in the last 12 months, that makes us think we’re doing something well because the way teams have reacted. Going back to the Ashes, first ball of the Ashes having point on the boundary sends a message to us we’re doing something right.
“I don’t know if intimidating is the right word, but it’s putting different thoughts in opposition’s minds and captain’s minds. It definitely felt like that today – it felt like they were unsure what a good score would be against us.
“The wicket is still pretty good, the odd one’s keeping low but you expect that. Also what we’ve seen today is Shubman played brilliantly – it does show there’s still scores to be made out there,” he said.
Pleased that I bowled 35 overs in three days
Anderson, playing his first Test since last July, put up a masterclass in seam bowling. His wobble seam deliveries troubled the Indian batters in both innings and ended up with five wickets.
“As a player you want to contribute to the team and this summer I didn’t do that (in the Ashes), so I felt disappointed from that point of view.
“What the time away did do, it gave me a chance to think about what I can improve on. It also gave me time to work on my fitness, knowing coming to India, it’s a hard place to come as a seamer.
“I’m obviously delighted with the five wickets but I think I’m more pleased with the fact I got through 35 overs in three days. I felt strong when I was doing it as well. All that work I was doing in the last few months has really paid off and that’s probably the most satisfying thing for me,” said Anderson.
He also thought the inexperienced England spin attack has delivered under pressure.
“Day one was definitely the best day to bat on that wicket, so to get them six down we were happy with. To finish them off the next morning was great. Today was even better than that,” said Anderson referring to India’s 253 all out in the second essay.
“The way the three young spinners bowled was brilliant. They kept coming and coming, and didn’t give up at any stage, even when Shubman was playing really well. They built that partnership.
“Stokesy would manoeuvre the field around but they delivered their skill brilliantly. The way they stuck at it, the calmness they showed was outstanding for young lads,” he added.
(With inputs from PTI)

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