England paceman James Anderson, who dismissed Virat Kohli for a first ball duck on Thursday (August 5), said it was ‘unusual’ to get the India skipper out that early on day two of the first Test. Having got him out four times in the 2014 series and then being put into submission by the Indian skipper in 2018, Kohli’s engrossing battle with the veteran England pacer was always going to be a sub-plot of the five-match series.
The 39-year-old drew the first blood, getting Kohli with a beauty to trigger a collapse as India slumped to 112/4 from being 97 for no loss in less than six overs. “I feel like I’ve challenged Virat in that area before. He either played or missed or left it. He’s always been good enough to sort of get through and today it was just one of those days where he nicked it. Getting Kohli out that early was quite unusual,” Anderson said at the end of day’s play.
There were animated celebrations from the veteran after getting the prized-scalp of Kohli. “He’s such a big wicket. To bowl the ball exactly where I wanted it to and for him to nick it as well. It was just an outpouring of emotions to get the team back into the game. Getting their best player out is something that doesn’t happen all that often.”
Anderson revealed that the strategy was to bowl to the Indians on the fourth stump line that paid dividends as he got Cheteshwar Pujara (4) and Kohli off successive deliveries to swing the match in their favour. “To be honest it’s not really something that we thought about too much, particularly to him. What we try to do as a group is trying to challenge that fourth stump area, the defence as much as possible.
WOWWWW! @jimmy9 gets Kohli first ball and Trent Bridge is absolutely rocking!
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) August 5, 2021
“Obviously to get a couple of quick ones like that is really important, especially with Virat being such an influential player for them. Always good to get him early.”
Anderson equalled legendary Indian spinner Anil Kumble’s tally of 619 with the wicket of Kohli. Asked to rate Kohli’s wicket, he said: “Obviously it’s right up there. He is one among the best.”
In response to England’s 183, India were tottering at 125/4 before rain curtailed the day’s proceedings. “It was very frustrating the way the day finished. Once the cloud comes over here we’ve seen the last couple days, it can be quite bowler friendly, very difficult for batting so we wanted to stay out there as long as possible,” he said.
Anderson further said they would miss their star pacer Jofra Archer hugely after he has ruled out of all cricket for the rest of 2021 after recurrence of elbow fracture. “It’s a huge disappointment for Jofra and the team has been a really influential part of the team since the last couple of years. Obviously a huge miss with what’s coming up in the rest of the year. This injury is something that’s been bugging him for quite a while so I think, hopefully now, this will be the end of it. We want him back fully fit and firing.”
(with PTI inputs)