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James Anderson said that he is eager to lock horns with Virat Kohli once again but at the same time also admitted that the batting megastar is a tough batsman to bowl. When India had toured England in 2014, Anderson had made Kohli his bunny as the veteran pacer had got his number four times. Jimmy had got the better of the Delhi batsman by bowling on the fourth and fifth stump line.
However, when Team India visited England in 2018 it was the Indian skipper who came out on top as he ended up scoring close to 600 runs (593) in 10 innings and James Anderson could not even account for Kohli even once in that series.
“It’s always tough bowling at batsmen of that quality. I had some success against him in 2014 and then he came back a completely different player in 2018 and was incredible. It will be a tough battle but that’s something I do enjoy. You want to get the best players out,” said Anderson while speaking to the Test Match Special podcast.
“He left the ball really well in 2018. The first time he came over, when I was bowling out-swingers he might chase it early on and that brought the edge and the slips into play. He left it a lot better and he was a lot more patient. He waited for you to bowl at him and then he’s very strong off his legs so he could score freely,” the English Test specialist added.
James Anderson registered his 600th Test scalp on Day 5 of the third and final Test match against Pakistan at the Ageas Rose Bowl, Southampton.
Anderson is the only pacer to pick up 600 wickets in international cricket i.e. including Tests and One Day Internationals. Jimmy now becomes the fourth-highest wicket-taker in red-ball cricket after the likes of Muttiah Muralitharan (800), Shane Warne (709), and, Anil Kumble (619) respectively. While Muralitharan was an off-spinner, his counterparts Warne and Kumble were leggies.
The veteran Test specialist achieved this feat by getting rid of Pakistani Test skipper Azhar Ali on Day 5. It happened in the 62nd over of Pak's second innings.
On the second delivery, Anderson bowled one around off stump as the batsman was completely taken by surprise and got carried away by the extra bounce and before he could react, it was too late as the ball took the outside edge of his bat and went straight into the hands of Ali's opposite number Joe Root who took a regulation catch at the first slip.
There was a lot of delight in the English team and Jimmy was seen waving his arms to the empty stadium after having reached the milestone.
Coming back to the Kohli-Anderson rivalry, both will be competing on the 22 yards when England tour India for a five-match Test series in early 2021.
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