India vs England in Hyderabad: ‘Might open with 2 spinners’, says Anderson

Abu Dhabi: Veteran England fast-bowler James Anderson believes the visitors might even open the bowling with two spinners when they commence their five-match Test tour of India on January 25 in Hyderabad.

England last won a Test series in India in 2012/13 season and the last time they were here in 2021, the visitors’ lost the series 3-1 after winning the opening game in Chennai. For this tour, England have a four-member spin-bowling attack in Jack Leach, Rehan Ahmed, Tom Hartley and Shoaib Bashir. Only Leach has played Tests previously in India, apart from the fast-bowling trio of Anderson, Ollie Robinson and Mark Wood.

Also Read

Invite Owaisi to Ram Mandir inauguration: BJYM leader cites ‘ancestral connection’

“That has been my role over the recent past anyway is stepping into that mentoring role as a senior figure. I have a duty to pass on information to people. We have bowlers who have not bowled in India before, so it will be a different challenge for them. We have to help where we can.”

“There are only four seamers going so we will not be expecting to bowl a huge amount of seam. It is just a slightly different role. You might not bowl the overs you do in England but they are still important. It probably puts more importance on spells you do bowl. These are the things we will pass on to the guys.”

“Reverse swing will play a big part. There might be occasions where we don’t open with a seamer. We might open with two spinners. Your role changes a huge amount then, you come on third or fourth change with set batsmen in. That is the challenge of playing in India,” said Anderson to The Telegraph.

The veteran fast-bowler has a good record in Tests in India, picking 39 wickets at an average of 29, though he didn’t have a memorable time bowling in the Ashes against Australia in July last year.

Though his long-time bowling partner Stuart Broad has retired from the game after last year’s Ashes, Anderson, who has picked 690 Test wickets, thinks he still has a lot in him to contribute for the team’s cause.

“Sounds brutal but you just have to move on. No thought has crossed my mind about finishing. I’m getting a lot of people coming up to me saying congrats on a great career but I keep having to explain that was Stuart, not me.”

“I still feel like I’ve got a lot to offer this team. I would not still be doing what I’m doing if I didn’t feel like that. I still feel like I have got the skills to win England games of cricket so as long as I feel like that, I don’t see why I should finish just because of my age. The training I have done this winter, I feel like age is just a number.”

“Cricket is a game of numbers and people will always look at my age when it comes up on the screen when I come on to bowl but for me it is irrelevant. It is how you feel as a cricketer and I know I can still dive around in the field and put a shift in with the ball just like I have done for the last 20 years.”

“I feel the last 5-6 years have been the best of my career. Although the Ashes did not go as well as I wanted it to, there have been many series when I have not bowled well throughout my career and it is just a case of putting in the hard work to make sure it doesn’t happen again,” he concluded.