Search

James Anderson insists Sachin Tendulkar is not his bunny

14:37 05 December 2012

England

England's James Anderson celebrates. Picture: Daniel Hambury/PA Wire

PA Wire/Press Association Images

James Anderson was rewarded for his highly-skilled swing bowling with three wickets today, including the prize scalp of Sachin Tendulkar, for the eighth time.

Anderson was the lynchpin of a disciplined and resourceful England attack which thoroughly earned an advantageous position as India closed day one of the third Test on 273 for seven at Eden Gardens.

Tendulkar (76) and Gautam Gambhir (60) ensured the hosts remain competitive, but neither could convert from 50 to 100.

Anderson and Steven Finn got through 41 overs between them, statistical evidence of the fact pace as well as spin is an important weapon in this match.

Specifically, reverse-swing was the method which served Anderson best - although he bowled effectively when the ball was new as well as old.

He acknowledged afterwards that some of the tricks of his trade were learned from India’s Zaheer Khan, another example of England playing their hosts at their own game here - as they did in Mumbai last week, where their spinners outbowled the opposition.

Anderson (three for 68) also reflected, modestly, on his happy habit of dismissing Tendulkar.

He shares the distinction, of seeing off the Little Master eight times, with the great Muttiah Muralitharan - but wisely did not go along with a mischievous suggestion that Tendulkar is his ‘bunny’.

“I wouldn’t say that,” he said. “It’s a nice thing to have, and I’ll probably think more about it in years to come when I’ve retired and tell everyone that has happened.”

More important to Anderson and England, in the thick of a series level at 1-1 with two to play, was that Tendulkar was beginning to look especially dangerous just before he was out.

“It was a crucial wicket for us, and I was delighted to get him out because it looked like he was set,” said Anderson.

“He looked a bit scratchy early on but I was really pleased to get him out when I did.

“He’s such a class player that, when he gets in like that, he can go on and get a big hundred.”

Gambhir explained the difficulty of facing a bowler who is adept at reverse-swing and hiding the ball in his run-up and delivery from the batsman, so there are no clues from which is the shiny side.

It is then all about reaction rather than prediction for the batsman, and Anderson learned from Zaheer how he could get that edge.

“It might have been the last tour here, when Zaheer did it a lot, and that’s when I started practising it.” he said.

“It’s proved to be a good skill - because when batsmen are good enough to see which is the shiny side and know which way it’s going, it’s a lot easier for them.

“So when you hide it, obviously it makes it more difficult.

“Once we got it reversing, it makes my job a lot easier to try to attack and get wickets out here, so I just enjoyed it as much as I could.

“We’ve had hints of it reversing in the last two games, but nothing like it did today.

“On the pitches we get out here, reverse is crucial for seam bowlers - because it keeps you in the game.

“This pitch is perfect for it, very abrasive.”

Anderson expects the reverse effect to continue all game, and Gambhir is confident Zaheer and Ishant Sharma will provide a stern test for England’s batsmen too.

“It reversed big, so if we can put 350 on the board it’s going to be a good contest,” said the India opener.

“Zaheer Khan is a master of reverse-swing, so if he gets going it will be very difficult for England.”

Anderson already appears to have put the tourists ahead of the game, though, and ought to have power to add both tomorrow and in the second innings, when Tendulkar will be in his sights again.

“I don’t think I’ve got a (particular) way of getting him out, or bowl better at him than anyone else,” he said.

“It’s just one of those things that I’ve happened to get him out eight times.”

It is a decidedly handy knack nonetheless, and one England must hope he does not lose just yet.

Related articles

0 comments

Latest Sport Stories

Eric Dier

Eric Dier admits it has been a steep learning curve in the Premier League and that he has made mistakes – but the 20-year-old is thrilled to have been so heavily involved for Tottenham since his arrival.

Jan Vertonghen (right) in action against Brighton at White Hart Lane last night

Lifting the Capital One Cup could be the key to unlocking Tottenham’s potential, giving them a winning mentality and providing the spark that takes the club on to bigger things, according to Jan Vertonghen.

Yesterday, 09:00
Nils Mordt in action for Saracens. Pic by Christopher Lee/Getty Images

Nils Mordt is looking forward to taking to the field with Saracens’ young stars as they kick off their LV= Cup campaign with a London derby against Harlequins on Sunday.

Yesterday, 08:30
The jubilant Highgate Harriers squad

Highgate Harriers swept the board with a devastating display at the North of Thames cross-country championships in Kingsbury on Saturday.

Most read sport

There has never been better news on a Friday afternoon.

And it’s said to be revolutionising access to donor sperm throughout the country.

Many people now feel they have to move jobs to better their career and get ahead.

‘Go get him’ said the police officer, and that’s just what the dog did.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition