Anderson: Kohli wicket ranks up there with the best

By Sports Desk August 05, 2021

James Anderson rates the dismissal of India captain Virat Kohli for a first-ball duck as one of his best as he led an England fightback on day two of the first Test at Trent Bridge.

Anderson swung his team back into contention against the tourists with two quickfire wickets, getting Cheteshwar Pujara out caught behind before Kohli – who was out for a golden duck to Stuart Broad in his last English innings in 2018 – followed in the same manner.

India had been threatening to take the game away from Joe Root's side after putting on an unbeaten 97 for the first wicket, however, four wickets reduced Kohli's men to 125-4 at the end of a rain-affected second day.

The wicket of Kohli, who Anderson had not dismissed in 454 balls since 2014, represented the Lancashire bowler's 619th wicket in Test cricket – moving him level with India's spinning great Anil Kumble.

Asked where Kohli's day-two wicket ranked among his other 618, Anderson said: "It's obviously right up there, it's always good to get a world-class player out. You always want to challenge yourself against the best and he certainly is one of the best.

"There was definitely some emotion there in the celebration, getting him out early and knowing how important that is for the team."

While Anderson's back-to-back deliveries changed the mood in Nottingham, it was Ollie Robinson who got things going with the removal of Rohit Sharma, caught pulling on the boundary by Sam Curran.

Indeed, Robinson and Anderson, who is now joint-third for the most wickets in Test history, were the pick of England's all-seam four-man attack but the 39-year-old insisted the hosts' bowlers must stick to their own strengths.

"I try and not focus on individuals really, I think it's important that we as bowlers focus on what we do best, our strengths, and my strength," Anderson added.

"My first spell one of my strengths is swinging the ball, I was trying to swing it away and get the edge of the two openers. Then when I came back it was more trying to attack the stumps, we slightly changed the field to try and bowl that touch straighter.

"It's more focusing on us and trying to take that individual battle and the individual batsmen out of it, we bowl best when we focus on ourselves."

It was announced on Thursday, though, that Anderson will have to wait to partner up with Jofra Archer again as the fast bowler will be out injured for the rest of 2021 – crucially missing the T20 World Cup and Ashes series in Australia.

Archer, who burst onto the scene with 20 wickets in the 2019 World Cup-winning campaign before following up with 22 in his debut Ashes series, has been suffering with an elbow injury and will play no further part this year.

"It's a huge disappointment for Jofra and the team, he has been a really influential part of the team since he started playing for England," Anderson continued.

"Obviously he's a huge miss for what's coming up for the rest of the year but I also think this sort of injury is something that has been bugging him for quite a while, so I think hopefully now this will be the end of it; get it settled, get it healed and come back stronger.

"He's been great for this team and we want him back fully fit and firing so hopefully however long it takes that will happen in the next few months."

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