Root required in England reply after Anderson five-for leads Lord's fightback

By Sports Desk August 13, 2021

Joe Root again came to the rescue as England threatened to squander the foothold James Anderson's five-wicket haul had gained them against India on Friday.

Led by Anderson (5-62), some excellent work with the ball allowed England to begin their reply in the second session on day two of the second Test at Lord's, despite India having resumed on 276-3.

KL Rahul was gone early, adding just two as he departed for 129, and only Rishabh Pant (37) and Ravindra Jadeja (40) offered any serious resistance thereafter as the tourists were all out for 364.

England made it to 23 without loss before Mohammed Siraj removed Dom Sibley and Haseeb Hameed from consecutive balls to prompt a battling Root display, during which he passed Graham Gooch to go second on his country's list for Test runs. He was 48 not out with his team 119-3 at stumps.

The captain's knock, aided by 49 from Rory Burns, ensured England remained in contention at the end of a promising day, despite Siraj's spell.

India had quickly set about undoing their hard work on Thursday as the long-awaited wicket of Rahul went to Ollie Robinson from the second ball, before Ajinkya Rahane then followed to Anderson in the next over.

The tourists did then threaten to build a third big partnership until another timely intervention when Pant paid for his aggressive approach, swiping at a Mark Wood delivery that carried into Jos Buttler's gloves – again, one became two, with Mohammed Shami's jaunt to the crease a brief one.

It fell to Anderson to wrap up the innings, trapping Ishant Sharma lbw, earning a nick behind off Jasprit Bumrah's glove to complete his five-for and then getting underneath a wild Jadeja swing off the bowling of Wood.

England started steadily enough in reply, only to have Sibley pick out Rahul at short mid-wicket soon after tea.

The recalled Hameed departed quickly to a straight one to bring out Root, who teased two wasted reviews out of opposite number Virat Kohli before settling in to put on an 84-run partnership with Burns – a stand that was eventually broken when the opener went lbw.

Ageless Anderson

Anderson was supposed to be injured, of course, but did not show it in a typically influential outing. His 31st five-for was his seventh at Lord's, tying Trent Bridge for his favourite ground in this sense.

And, at 39 years and 14 days, Anderson became the oldest pace bowler to take five wickets in a Test innings since 1951. Only New Zealand legend Richard Hadlee, against England in July 1990, had also taken five at the age of 39 in the intervening period.

Root reaches second

With 48 here, Root moves ahead of Gooch (8,900) and now trails only Alastair Cook (12,472). The England captain has scored 1,000 or more runs against five Test nations, but India (2,011) tops the list of opponents.

This track record clearly played on Kohli's mind in the final session as he twice reviewed for lbw when on both occasions he might have held fire against another player in the England side.

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