The ongoing Test series between India and England has already provided cricket fans with a rollercoaster of emotions, and one of the intriguing subplots is the unexpected foray of James Anderson into left-arm spin. While he may not have made it to the playing eleven in the opening Test in Hyderabad, Anderson’s attempts at spin bowling have captivated fans and earned praise from none other than the legendary Ravi Shastri.
Anderson’s left-arm spin attempt
With over 690 Test wickets to his name, Anderson is undoubtedly one of England’s greatest fast bowlers. However, the spin-friendly conditions in Hyderabad led to Anderson trying his hand at left-arm spin during the fun practice session at nets. This surprising move was caught on camera, showcasing the veteran’s willingness to try his hands on spin.
England’s pace dilemma
Despite being one of the leading wicket-takers in Test history, Anderson found himself overlooked for the playing eleven in the first Test. England opted for a solitary specialist pacer in Mark Wood, a decision that raised eyebrows given Anderson’s stellar record. However, with the pitch favouring spin, the team management’s choice seemed justified.
Ravi Shastri’s praise for Anderson
The cricketing world witnessed Anderson’s left-arm spin during a live broadcast on Day 2 of the Test match. Indian commentator and former cricketer Ravi Shastri didn’t miss the chance to appreciate Anderson’s versatility. Shastri remarked, “It’s coming out nicely. Very nicely. Well done, Jimmy.”
Here’s the video:
— simon hughes (@theanalyst) January 26, 2024
India’s dominance and Joe Root’s masterclass on Day 3
As the Test match unfolded, spin dominated the proceedings, and England’s lone specialist pacer, Wood, couldn’t make significant inroads into India’s batting lineup. England’s decision to go with only one seamer appeared questionable as India built a substantial lead of 190 runs in reply to England’s total of 246 in their first innings.
With the ball turning square, England turned to their former captain, Joe Root, for inspiration. Root delivered a bowling masterclass, claiming four crucial wickets in India’s second innings. His efforts helped England restrict India for 436 runs, giving England a challenging but not insurmountable target to dissolve the lead and set a fighting total for the fourth innings. In reply, England showed determination with the bat and scored 89 quick runs for the loss of one wicket in just 15 overs until lunch on Day 3.