England bowlers found it difficult throughout the day to look for wickets as India batters managed to have solid partnerships at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad on Friday. Moreover, all of India’s batters, apart from Ravichandran Ashwin, got good starts as KL Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja went to smash the fifties to help India take their first innings lead to 175 runs, ending the second day at 421/7 in 110 overs as well. And, former England captain Nasser Hussain suggested that things may have been different if James Anderson had been in their playing XI.
“I said before the game, I would have played Anderson. I was a bit surprised at the balance of the side because with (Joe) Root in India, it is four spinners and one seamer,” Hussain said on Sky Sports. “Anderson gives you control. It doesn’t even have to be him, it can be (Ollie) Robinson, just another seamer.”
James Anderson has taken 34 wickets from 13 Tests which came at an average of 29.32 he’s played in India so far. However, Hussain also added that he understands why England went in with three spinners.
“Anderson’s skills in the sub-continent has been exceptional in the last few years. Anderson is a quite a good player when he is in the side. He is England’s greatest ever bowler. I understood why they have done it. You’ve got Jack Leach who hasn’t bowled since May or June because of his stress fractures and then you have a debutant and someone playing in their second Test match. They may have been concerned about how much you can bowl Leach in that game. So, if you just go for the second spinner and they don’t get it right, you are left in a tricky position,” he added.
Notably, despite three specialist spinners in the England squad, the most effective bowler for them was their part-timer Joe Root.
“The beauty of having Joe Root is that he knows…how to create opportunities,” England bowling coach Jeetan Patel said. “That is one thing Joe has — an ability to think ‘how will I take a wicket? How will I change a game?’ I think today we saw the typical Joe Root, he creates opportunities. Yes, he’s going to be hit for boundaries but that’s how Joe Root bowls. He bowls attacking deliveries, he asks attacking questions. He was fantastic I thought.”