Slow pitches aided Virat Kohli's success, says James Anderson

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Slow pitches aided Virat Kohli's success, says James Anderson

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SportsCafe Desk


Despite Virat Kohli's incredible run of form this year, England pacer James Anderson has claimed that the slow Indian pitches does not expose the ace Indian  batsman’s weaknesses. Anderson also backed Adil Rashid to emerge as one of England’s  frontline spinners.

Test skipper Kohli is in the form of his life as he became the first Indian and only the fifth in the game’s history to score three Test double hundreds in a year while also completing 2000 runs in 2016 across all formats.

However, England’s highest Test wicket taker Anderson said the Indian pitches have presented Kohli with immunity against his usual weaknesses, referring to India's 2014 tour of England where the batsman had struggled.

“I am not sure if he (Kohli) has changed. I just think any technical deficiencies he has got are not in play out here. The wickets just take that out of the equation. There is not that pace in the wicket to get the nicks, like we did against him in England – with a bit more movement,” Anderson told a news conference in Mumbai.

The 34-year-old also felt that England failed to execute their plans against Jayant Yadav, who recorded a century batting at No. 9 on day four of the fourth Test at the Wankhede Stadium on Sunday (Dec 11).

“We plan for every batsman – from Nos 1 to 11. We have played three Tests now against Yadav, so it is no surprise – we knew he can bat very competently. We had plans for him. Sometimes they don't come off; sometimes you don't execute your plans well enough, as was the case today. I thought he played exceptionally well,” the pacer said.

Despite England reeling at 182/6 by the end of the fourth day, still trailing by 49 runs, Anderson was positive that the visitors can avoid another defeat.

“We are going to come here tomorrow and try to fight our way back into this game if we can. We are 50 runs behind. If we can bat with the positive intent we showed today, there's no reason why we can't get a hundred ahead of them and then try to put some pressure on them with the ball," he said.

Anderson also admitted that their bowling in the morning session was below par, with India scoring 128 runs in 29 overs before lunch.

“It is immensely frustrating. Coming to the ground this morning, needing to get three wickets with them 50 ahead, if we could get them we are still well in the game. Unfortunately we didn't bowl as well as we could have first thing. The ball started flying around this morning, and then they got settled and managed to put on a big partnership,” the Lancashire bowler said.

Anderson said that it is possible for the England batsmen to get runs on the Wankhede track after Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow scored impressive fifties in the second innings.

“I am not sure if they are too difficult to handle. They are obviously world-class spinners, but we knew the task ahead when we came over here. We knew it was going to be difficult. But I enjoyed watching Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow bat. I thought they did it with real positive intent, and showed you can still score runs out there,” he said.

“We hope that is a given the lads down the order a bit of confidence going into tomorrow – because we're certainly not going to be trying to bat out for a draw. If we are going to keep this series alive, we're going to have to try to get past them and try to put some pressure on in the fourth innings.”

Asked whether the England spinners had improved, Anderson complimented Rashid after  the leg-spinner bowled 55 overs in the first innings, including a back-breaking spell of 28 overs on the third day.

“Adil, for me, has been the biggest improvement. Certainly he's shown he can be England's frontline spinner in the future."

Asked about his own performance in the series, Anderson said, “I have been happy with the way I have bowled, but not happy with the amount of wickets I have got. That happens – especially especially in these conditions. It is tough. I would have liked more wickets.”

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