IND v ENG 2021: ‘We will be unlikely to see reverse swing in D/N Test’, reckons James Anderson

Anderson is set to return to England’s playing XI after being rested in the second Test.

James Anderson | GettyVeteran pacer James Anderson played a vital role in England’s comprehensive 227-run victory over India in the first Test at Chepauk.

On Day 5, Anderson got the ball to reverse and bowled just about the right lengths. He dismissed Shubman Gill, Ajinkya Rahane and Rishabh Pant and broke the back of Indian middle-order.

Anderson, who is all set to return to England’s playing XI after being rested in the second Test, doesn’t expect reverse swing with the pink SG ball in the Day-Night fixture at Ahmedabad.

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"It doesn't feel a lot different [to other brands of pink ball]," ESPNcricinfo quoted Anderson as saying. "What we have found with all the pink balls, it seems like they have an extra bit of lacquer on them so it feels a bit more plastic, the coating, rather than on the red ball where you can feel the leather. It feels very similar to the Dukes in the hand.

"I think we will be unlikely to see reverse. It depends on the pitch - if the pitch is really abrasive you might see a bit of reverse, but from how we've bowled it in the nets I would be very surprised if it does reverse. It may well stay a bit harder for longer. We'll have to wait and see how it reacts after 40-50 overs."

In order to fine-tune their skills for the Day-Night Test, England have been using different pink balls in training.

However, Anderson suggested that their initial plans won’t be any different from how they bowl with red cherry.

"I don't think we'll bowl any differently to how we normally bowl with the red ball," he said. "We'll be assessing conditions as we do and bowl accordingly. If it's swinging around we'll be more attacking, bowl a fuller length, have extra catchers in. If not, we'll go a little bit more defensive.

"It's all about assessing the conditions. We've got a couple of balls that are really old we've been practising with that are doing absolutely nothing and I think it's important we do that because you still need the option of taking wickets when it's not swinging around.

"We're trying to cover all bases and know what we're going to do if it doesn't swing. If it does swing, yes, potentially we'll bowl those slightly more attacking lines and lengths."

Anderson was rested from the second Test as a part of England’s rotation policy in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

While the 38-year-old pacer found it frustrating to have been rested, he can see the bigger picture given England's hectic schedule in 2021.

"The idea was if I missed that one, that would give me the best chance of being fit and firing for the pink-ball Test," he said. "So that's where I am at, at the minute: I am feeling good and fresh and ready to go again if called upon. It's hopefully going to keep me going for longer, and Stuart [Broad] has said the same too.

"I've seen the last couple of years - 2019, when I missed the Ashes, and the start of 2020, when I got an injury in South Africa - [that] when the workload goes up - and it's the same for all bowlers not just me - those injuries do happen.

"We've got 17 Test matches this year and the best way of getting your best players firing for as many of those as possible is to take little rests every now and then it's just a case of trying to make sure you're not wearing someone out until they completely break in half."

(Inputs from ESPNcricinfo)


By Salman Anjum - 22 Feb, 2021

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