James Anderson, who on Wednesday dismissed Virat Kohli for the second time in the ongoing 5-match series between India and England, has called the 32-year a 'fantastic player' who needs to be kept quiet.
Senior England pacer James Anderson wreaked havoc on the opening day of the third Test and got the important wickets of KL Rahul (0), Cheteshwar Pujara (1) and Virat Kohli (7) inside the first eleven overs. The impacts of those wickets were such that the vistors succumbed to a paltry 78-run total, their 9th lowest in Test cricket in front of a packed crowd at the Headingley.
Anderson was the centre of attraction in the second Test. His verbal battles with Jasprit Bumrah and India triggered a downhill collapse for England. Ironically, Anderson was the last wicket to fall as India registered a thumping 151-run win.
The 39-year-old came out all guns blazing in his first spell and took a wicket in his very first over by sending back Rahul in the pavilion. Pujara was the next one to edge one to Jos Buttler. In the 11th over, big fish Virat Kohli also fell in the trap. Kohli attempted a straight drive off a full length delivery from Anderson that straightened off a wobbled seam. An edge followed and Buttler again was picture perfect with his responsibility.
Test crickets most successful pacer called Kohli a "fantastic player" after the end of the day's play, adding that keeping a batsman of his calibre was important as a team.
"I think it was special. We have had some great battles over the years. He is a fantastic player and someone you want to keep quiet as a team. Especially, in a five-match series, if he gets going he can be very disruptive,” said Anderson after the day’s play.
"I think the way we have bowled to him throughout the series has been very good. We just got to keep doing that and keep him quiet as often as we can," he added.
Further, Anderson admitted that after the all the heated verbal exchanges during the Lord's Test, the focus at Headingley was to ‘shut the noise’ and focus on the job, something that paid dividends fir England as they bowled out India for 78.
"We have made a conscious effort of trying to just focus on us, on what we do well and try and ignore everything else, the outside noise or wherever they might be going on, and just yet and make sure there's a real focus on what we do well," Anderson said.
"Yeah, I think there was a bit of chat about that. We were just making a point of trying to focus on what we do well," he added.
In reply, England openers Haseeb Hameed (60 not out) and Rory Burn (52 not out) remained unbeaten as England finished Day 1 with 120 runs on the board without losing any wicket. Joe Root's men have a lead of 42 runs already.
"In a performance like that, I think it doesn't get much better and the way the two guys played the day with the bat was outstanding, and exactly what we've been talking about throughout this series," he said hailing their opening duo's effort.