On the latest episode of the BBC’s Tailenders podcast, James Anderson talked through his double-wicket over in England’s win over India in the first Test at Chennai.
Anderson castled both Shubman Gill and Ajinkya Rahane with inswinging deliveries in his first over of the fifth day, helping England to a 227-run win.
Gill was the first man to go, departing from Anderson’s second ball as the ball tailed in to send the off stump cartwheeling.
While Rahane survived an LBW review from his second ball faced, he departed moments later in almost identical fashion to Gill, with reverse swing proving his downfall too.
“I remember the first ball,” said Anderson as he talked through the double-wicket maiden. “I was a bit stiff from bowling in the first innings and being in the field. Your body needs to wake up a little bit, you need to bowl a few balls to get into the spell. I remember the first ball came out absolutely perfectly, just where I wanted it, just swung in a little bit.
“So I thought: ‘Alright, that’s handy, I can now adjust for that. I can throw it a little bit wider and hopefully, it’ll tail onto off stump.’ It was just one of those things where it happened to be my day. There’s a lot of times where you’re aiming for a spot on the pitch and you just keep missing it. No matter how hard you try, you just keep missing it and it just doesn’t happen for you that particular day. But yesterday it just happened for me.
“I did feel in really good rhythm all week and didn’t have the figures to show for it in the first innings, but I just felt that something could happen on that pitch because I’d seen a few balls do something unusual when [Jasprit] Bumrah and Ishant [Sharma] bowled on it in that second innings. So there was definitely something there.
“We kept it really simple as well. When it’s reversing, you can think: ‘I’m going to bowl a few out and then a few in, or three out and one in. But this was really simple: we thought we’ve got to bring in the stumps as much as possible. I’m just going to go in, I’m going to set a field for it. I had two catchers on the leg-side. This is what I’m going to do, I’m going to try and do it as often as I possibly can.
“I really enjoyed that over. It was one of my favourites I’ve ever bowled.”
Anderson added that he favoured the Gill dismissal more while explaining further just how he configured his radar with the ball providing such exaggerated movement.
“Once it starts reversing like that, the danger is you try and push it into the stumps but that sort of defeats the object. You’ve got to try and bowl it like a normal outswinger and it will go in. I’ll aim at Jos’ [Buttler, the wicketkeeper] left foot behind the stumps and let the ball do everything else.”
Anderson finished with figures of 3-17 from 11 overs in India’s second innings as England went 1-0 up in the series.