Anderson shows vintage class, devours Kohli, Pujara

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Nottingham, Aug 5 (IANS) England pace bowler James Anderson produced magic of old as he toppled the Indian top-order, reducing them to 125/4 at rain-break on the second day of the first Test. His two key wickets on successive balls helped him move to third place alongside former India leg-spinner Anil Kumble in Test cricket’s top wicket-takers list.

The 39-year-old removed India skipper Virat Kohli, caught behind, for a first-ball duck to get his 619th wicket. A ball before that he had scalped Cheteshwar Pujara for four off 16 balls, having him caught behind as well.

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At the time of Pujara’s arrival immediately after lunch, England had their backs to the wall with India cruising at 97 for one.

However, Anderson’s spell turned it around and brought England back.

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Anderson’s performance on Thursday and the inability of the top Indian batsmen to withstand pressure from him is likely to be a cause of concern for India.

It is only the second day of the first Test and there are four more Tests to go after this.

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Kohli’s dismissal on Thursday brought back memories of the disastrous 2014 Test series when Anderson got him out four times. Kohli had scored 134 runs across 10 innings on that tour. He faced 50 balls from the veteran seamer in that series but could score only 19 runs off him.

Four years later, on India’s 2018 tour of England, Kohli aggregated 593 runs in the series and importantly ensured he didn’t lose his wicket to Anderson even once. India lost that series but Kohli stood out.

However, the Lancashire pacer has dealt the first blow. It remains to be seen how Kohli responds.

Bowling to Kohli gets Anderson going as he said on the eve of the first Test, on Tuesday.

“[I am] Excited to be playing against him (Kohli) again. You always want to challenge yourself against the best in the world and he certainly is that. As a batsman and captain, he has a huge influence on his team. So, it’s always a big wicket. It’s going to be a big challenge,” Anderson said at the pre-match press conference.

–IANS

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