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Anderson is well and truly back

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WRECKER-IN-CHIEF: Jimmy Anderson did the most damage, scalping four.
WRECKER-IN-CHIEF: Jimmy Anderson did the most damage, scalping four.

Special Correspondent

Bristol: Jimmy has come through some terrible times. Dips in form or the dreaded stress fracture of the lower back, he has survived them all.

It was the Indians who could not quite survive when James Anderson moved the ball at a lively pace under lights at the Rose Bowl. Yes, Jimmy can swing em’, swinging matches in the process.

Steve Harmison’s retirement from the ODIs, the fitness concerns of Matthew Hoggard and Ryan Sidebottom and the prolonged absence of Simon Jones, facing a severe career crisis, have meant that more focus is on Anderson.

And the Lancashire bowler likes the sight of the Indian batsmen. It was Anderson’s movement that played a large role in England levelling the three-Test series in India in 2005-2006. The right-arm paceman dented the host line-up in the final Test in Mumbai.

More recently, he almost bowled England to a victory in the first Test at Lord’s and walked away with the Player of the series award (for Tests), along with Zaheer Khan.

Anderson’s ODI statistics reflect his ability to influence matches. The paceman has 103 scalps in 70 ODIs – Gautam Gambhir was his 100th victim – at a commendable strike-rate of 33.9. He has been expensive on occasions – Anderson does have a tendency to spray the ball around when his mind and body are not in harmony – yet the paceman’s economy rate is a reasonable 4.77. He is still only 25. Importantly, Anderson has seven four-wicket hauls, the best among them being his four for 23 at the Rose Bowl on Tuesday.

He pitches the ball up releasing from close to the stumps, lures batsmen into the front-footed drives and then snares them with away deviation. He also uses the crease well while angling the ball across the left-handers.

Miserly spell

Anderson came into prominence during England’s 2002-2003 tour of Australia, sending down an astonishing 10 over spell for just 12 runs for a wicket against the Aussies in Adelaide; his effort included six maidens against a bunch of batsmen who can strike the ball a long way.

He was in his element in the 2003 World Cup in Southern Africa, ambushing New Zealand and Pakistan with four-wicket hauls. Soon Anderson was haunted by loss of form and injuries.

Jimmy is well and truly back.

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